Sure enough, after the Cincinnati Reds got three quick groundouts to the Cubs in the top of the seventh, a short commercial was followed by the sight of the Caray appearance. Supposedly, the network used his real voice from one of the renditions of the signature song during his 16 years calling home team games at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
The setting was Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa, at a temporary 8,000-seat stadium built last year to host the first “Field of Dreams” game. It is next to the cornfield and diamond where the 1989 film was shot and where visitors can still tour the property, including the farm that fans of the film know.
While the 2021 game saw the New York Yankees play against the Chicago White Sox, whose infamous 1919 squad played a prominent role in the film’s plot, this year the Cubs’ presence created a natural bond with Caray.
Given that the Reds were technically the home side, Fox Sports left what it described as a “recreational animation” of Caray left to the fans in attendance to proclaim their root, root, rooting interests. After the song ended, the virtual announcer said to the audience, “Boy, you’ve never sung so well in your life!”
“This is about paying tribute to what makes baseball iconic,” Fox Sports executive producer Brad Zager said in a statement. “We hope that right now parents can tell their kids what it was like to see Harry Caray, or what it was like to listen to Harry Caray lead the seventh inning vocals at Wrigley Field for the next generation to understand.” . and appreciate how much it meant.”
“Everything about the Field of Dreams is about taking our favorite aspects of baseball history and bringing them to life in modern times,” Zager added, “whether from an iconic baseball movie or the baseball game itself.”
A Fox Sports spokesperson confirmed to The Washington Post that Caray’s image was not a hologram, as it was widely referred to on the internet Thursday, but something “closer to augmented reality.”
Fox Sports director Michael Davies said the network leveraged a production partner’s “advanced technology that enables photorealistic animated re-creations” to “present a true tribute to Harry Caray and his legacy as technology allows”.
Not all the comments online were negative, but many wondered why Fox Sports had bothered to do it. an informal Twitter poll conducted by sports media reporter Andrew Marchand of the New York Post on whether people liked it, it was found that a majority of respondents chose neither “Yes” nor “No,” but “That was really weird.”
Poll: Did you like Fox’s Harry Caray hologram?
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 12, 2022
Elsewhere on the platform, a popular term among shared reviews was “scary.”
my therapist: [whispering] and is this “Hologram Harry Caray” in our room now?
— Tipping pitches (@tipping_pitches) August 12, 2022
Fox Sports had a firmer footing earlier in the air when it only used the voice of recently deceased broadcasting legend Vin Scully. As viewers watched scenes from the Kevin Costner movie interspersed with great moments in baseball history, the longtime Los Angeles Dodgers announcer heard the “People will come” speech originally delivered by James Earl Jones.
The film was also nicely called up for the contest, when Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr., the first father and son known to have played in an MLB game together (Tim Raines Sr. and Jr. later accomplished the same feat), came to the cornfield outside the outfield for a catch. Players for the Reds and Cubs then also took to the field, joined by former team stars including: Chicago’s Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Lee Smith; and Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench and Barry Larkin.
When the game started, the Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, then won 4-2.
One has to assume that Caray would have been happy. His quasi-hologram version certainly seemed happy enough, even if his look wasn’t widely received.