Play Ball! Chevy Returns to Field of Dreams on MLB's Opening Day

James Earl Jones audio comes from 1989 film

"People will come and they'll watch the game. It will be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters."

James Earl Jones' impassioned words from the landmark 1989 film Field of Dreams resonate in Chevy's minute-long film from Commonwealth/McCann and Rakish director Jaci Judelson celebrating Major League Baseball's opening day.

"The memories will be so thick, that they'll have to brush them away from their faces. The one constant through all the years has been baseball."

Such lines capture the transcendent glory of a game that's thrived for 145 years. Baseball is woven into the fabric of our nation's being, a potent pastime for tens of millions of fans, and served up rhetorically with apple pie as an abiding symbol of Americana.

"America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time."

On screen, scenes slide by that hold meaning beyond their eras and outside the base-paths:

Jackie Robinson in 1947, breaking the color barrier as the game's first Black player. Lou Gehrig's "luckiest man on the face of the earth" farewell speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939, as he retired with ALS. Hank Aaron overcoming prejudice in 1974 to break Babe Ruth's home-run record. Newsreel footage of the Sultan himself, smiling in his prime, lifting the USA out of its Great Depression funk with each mighty swat, and establishing the superstar athlete paradigm for generations to come.

Footage of average folks, young and old, playing in public parks, schoolyards and sandlots, convey baseball's power to inspire and delight. One-armed Tennessee high-school catcher Luke Terry makes an appearance, and wheelchair players chase their dreams, too. It's all especially meaningful in 2021, as America struggles back from the year-long pandemic nightmare, and we continue to grapple with the systemic racism that Jackie and Hank knew so well.

"Chevrolet understands that baseball is more than just a game," Commonwealth/McCann creative lead Gary Pascoe tells Muse. The creative team developed a spot reflecting that ethos, with Jones's evocative narration heralding today's arrival of a new season for all 30 MLB clubs.

It's another chance to shine. A fresh start for a league that occupies a special place in the hearts of hundreds of millions across the globe.

"This field, this game—it's a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again."

Football, hoops and soccer all rock, and to varying degrees they've upstaged the MLB in recent years. But historically, one sport stands apart. Baseball has given us so many indelible moments. Its return promises a chance to recapture a simpler time and perhaps forge a better tomorrow (like the Babe tipping his bat toward the bleachers, promising a home run he'd deliver on his very next swing).

It's comforting to know that after all we've been through, and with so much still to overcome, this grand tradition remains. The world looks brighter today. It's time to PLAY BALL!

CREDITS

Field of Dreams Credits : Agency--Commonwealth//McCann
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Gary Pascoe
Executive Creative Director: Duffy Patten
Executive Creative Director: Bob Guisgand
Creative Director: Dan Marvin
Creative Director: Dave Muller
Director of Broadcast Production: Paul Renusch
Executive Producer: Kelly Balagna
Senior Producer: Rob Van  
Group Account Director: Bill Wilt
Senior Account Executive: Meghan Behen  

Production Company: Rakish
Director: Jaci Judelson
Executive Producer, Rakish: Preston Garrett  
Executive Producer, Rakish: Brad Johns  
Line Producer, Rakish: Melissa Murphy
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors  
Editor: Haines Hall  
Head of Production: Dre Krichevsky
Producer: Kevin Gottlieb

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