PORTLAND — It all started in 1997 with Fredi Gonzalez as manager, Kevin Millar leading flannel-wearing baseball players through a row of cornstalks strung in center field and radio announcer Andy Young performing the James Earl Jones monologue from “The Field of Dreams” movie.

This afternoon before their penultimate game of the Eastern League season, the Portland Sea Dogs came through the cornstalks once again to haunting music and the voice of public address announcer Dean Rogers repeating the line, “If you build it, they will come.”

Manager Kevin Boles, a 21-year volunteer bullpen catcher with those 1997 Sea Dogs, led this year’s club through the stalks and toward the infield, pausing to look around with wonder as if alongside the ghost of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

“It’s an honor to continue that tradition,” said Boles, who joined his players in entering the stands to personally thank those in attendance.

“We’ve got the best baseball fans in the world,” he said. “I really believe that.”