When Ray first meets Shoeless Joe out on the field, Joe wants to know, "Whats with the lights?" While Joe never played a major league game under the lights, he died in 1951 and would have lived to become well aware of night baseball. The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro league played many night games as early as 1930 and the major leagues routinely by 1935.
In one scene, Annie calls out to her husband and daughter "Dinner!" but when he comes into the kitchen, while they're talking, she's laying out frozen french fries onto a baking dish, suggesting that she hasn't started to cook them yet. Why would she call for them to come in for dinner if it hasn't been prepared yet?
Ray Liotta's persona of Shoeless Joe is hardly correct. Liotta basically portrays Jackson as an Italian-descent man, probably from New York. Jackson was born in post-Reconstruction rural South Carolina and was raised there. He was taught the game by an older Confederate Army veteran. His accent was typical thick, southern-drawl of rural upstate SC and northeastern Georgia. Liotta's (and the film's) entire characterization is totally wrong.
When Ray hears his first voice, he is out in a field of shoulder-high corn with a hoe. No one would ever be walking around in shoulder-high corn with a hoe, it is too tall to see the weeds. If weeding were to be performed at all, it would be done when the corn was around knee-high, waist-high at most.
In the opening of the movie when Ray tells us he was born in 1952 then proceeds to talk of his relationship with his father, he tells us he moved away to attend college as far away as he could. Then talked of his studies, but mostly, recalled "it was remember, the '60's ". If he was born in 1952, and graduated high school at age 18, it would have been 1970 before he even enrolled in college. So he couldn't have attended college in the "60's"
The gas station attendant in Boston tells Ray that Terence Mann lives "two blocks down, right hand side, the first door that don't have a chicken in the window is his." When Ray walks down the street, he goes into the first chicken-less door on the left hand side.
During the opening voiceover, Ray states he was born in 1952, and his daughter Karen was born in 1974. Later, he states "I'm 36 years old," at the time the story starts, which would set it in 1988. However, the character of Karen is only about 5 years old in the movie. If she were born in 1974, she'd have been 13 or 14.
Toward the end when Ray and his father are playing catch, and Annie turns on the lights, Mark's jeep is no longer parked next to the light pole. But in the next shot, it reappears again in the same spot.
Ray has a vision of the baseball field while standing in the corn looking back at the house. In the vision, the backstop and home plate area is out in the corn, with the outfield stretching out to near the house. When he builds the field, he builds it the other way around home plate and the first base line are by the house, and the outfield is in the corn. Why did the filmmakers not have the effect of the vision match the reality Ray built? In the DVD commentary, the director, Phil Robinson, explains that they did try to use footage of the actual field but it didn't work. They had to have a painter come in to do it instead and for an unexplained reason they couldn't put the field in correctly.
At Fenway Park, when Oakland A's batter Jose Canseco is shown hitting a fly ball, the time on the scoreboard reads 8:41. A moment later, Ray looks up at the scoreboard to see the message about 'Moonlight' Graham and the time on the scoreboard reads 10:30.
In one of the scenes where Ray is watching the Black Sox play at his field, Jim Doty is seen hitting a ball, and then running to first. However, when the camera shows the player on first base, it is not Jim Doty.
During their initial meeting, right after Ray and Shoeless Joe introduce themselves to each other, Joe is standing on the infield grass between the pitcher's mound and home plate with his glove on. He then jogs over to the backstop to pull some bats out of the bag. When they cut to the next shot of him jogging up to the backstop his right hand is bare and the glove is missing.
When Ray mentions that he never forgave his father for getting old he says "By the time he was as old as I am (36) now, he was ancient." Rays father was born in 1896, Ray was born in 1952. This would have made his father 56 when Ray was born, 20 years after having already considered his father as being ancient.
When Ray is on his way to meet Terrence Mann in Boston, his VW van has a McGovern sticker (1972 Dem presidential candidate) on the bottom center of the rear window. After leaving Boston with Terrence, the van traveling through the woods lacks the McGovern sticker.
About midway through the film, when Ray and Terry leave Fenway Park, they are seen traveling "up" Landsdowne St., behind the left field wall, northbound. Landsdowne St. is a one way street headed in the opposite direction.
Moonlight Graham made his only major league appearance in 1905, not in 1922. Further, he died in 1965, not in 1972. However, in a showing of the film on AMC's "DVD-TV", it was stated that the filmmakers intentionally 'fudged' the date so that they could include the Richard Nixon gag (the "Four More Years" poster in the store window).
Doc "Moonlight" Graham states in the movie that he was born in Chisholm, Minnesota, when in real life he was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. However, he did die in Chisholm (although in a different year than indicated in the movie).
Swede Risberg is listed in the credits as the White Sox catcher brought to the field, shown in catcher's gear. Swede Risberg played short stop primarily (397 games), as well as 29 at 1st, 12 at 2nd, 24 at 3rd base, and 3 at an outfield position. He never caught even one ball behind the plate in his career.
When Ray returns home with Terrance, Shoeless Joe tells them that Ty Cobb wanted to come to the field "but none of us could stand the son of bitch when we were alive, so we told him to 'stick it'". In reality, Cobb and Jackson were friends, and had a great deal of respect for one another.
At Fenway Park, you are not able to buy a hot dog and a beer at the same concession stand. Certain stands sell only beer (and no food other than pretzels and peanuts), while other stands sell food (including hot dogs), but no beer.
(Possibly deliberate on part of the filmmakers) When Shoeless Joe Jackson brings the other banned members of the 1919 White Sox to play at the field, one of them appears wearing catchers gear. None of the three players who caught games for the 1919 White Sox were among the eight players banned.
When Doc Graham is describing to Ray the extent of his playing career, he says that in the last game of the season, Giants manager John J. McGraw told him to go play right field. While the position Graham played is correct, the date is not. The last game of the Giants' 1905 season was played on October 7. Graham's only appearance with the Giants came on June 29, which was New York's 65th game of the season. They still had 90 games left to play.
A player is shown in a Philadelphia Athletics uniform with a green bill on the cap, and a green colored A on the uniform. The Philadelphia Athletics team color was blue, and didn't change to green until after the franchise moved to Kansas City.
The game at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and the Athletics takes place on May 16th, because it was the only Red Sox/Athletics game at Fenway in 1988 in which Jody Reed hit first, as indicated by Ray's lineup card. The scoreboard clock says 10:32, but the actual game concluded at approximately 9:50 that night.
Early in the film Ray goes to the feed store and buys "a bag of seed". First, no one would buy 1 bag of seed, they would buy enough for a whole farm (many bags). Second, a bag of seed the size that Ray has would weigh 25-40 lbs; you couldn't pick it up with one hand easily as Ray does.
When Annie is discussing the mortgage with Ray, she says that they've already missed payments on the mortgage. But then she mentions later asking the bank if they can miss a couple of payments, then the bank 'sells the note' to Mark and then Mark's group demands full payment immediately. This would indicate a seriously late mortgage situation (not to mention Mark being a very dysfunctional/miserly brother) that doesn't fit the time line.
After Archie Graham is pickled up hitch hiking he says he heard that towns throughout the Midwest have baseball teams. Sometimes they will find jobs so you can nights and weekends. This is wrong because Moonlight Graham played in only one game in 1907. The first night game was in 1935.
At the end of the movie, Shoeless Joe says to Ray, "Build it and he will come." He then looks toward the area where Ray's father is taking his catcher's equipment off. Ray's father is still wearing the mask after what would have been a lengthy time since Mark showed up to argue with Ray about selling the farm. He has taken every other piece of catcher's gear off before removing the mask. The first thing a catcher removes is his mask. Catchers' masks are annoying to wear so no one would remove it last.
The "I'm melting" quote is not an anachronism just because the "Wizard of Oz" came out 20 years after the Black Sox scandal. None of the players died as a result of the scandal. Indeed, the first of them to die was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in 1951 which was long after "Wizard" came out in 1939. The first time the whole team showed up several players spoke about things happening both before and after the scandal and their deaths.
When Archie Graham first arrives at the "Field of Dreams," he points out that Smokey Joe Wood, Mel Ott, and Gil Hodges are all there. However, none of them were playing when Graham made his only Major League appearance (1905). This should have no bearing on him knowing who they were, however, since he never said that he played with them, only that he recognized them which he could have through many different means such as newspaper articles, baseball cards, television, etc.
The basic premise that a farm's profit can be make or broken based on the amount of land associated with a baseball field is flawed. A major league baseball field requires about 3 acres of land. At best, a "small" farm would be on the order of 250 acres, and many modern day farms are 1000s of acres. Most farms would have pastureland associated with them that would be similar to the acreage of a baseball field. It isn't conceivable that 3 acres would be the difference between keeping the farm and selling it.
When Ray and Karin Kinsella are on the tractor mowing down the corn field in preparation for building the baseball field, the power take off shaft which should be driving the mower is not rotating which means the mower is not operating.
The first time Ray walks to his bedroom window to look at his cornfield, the camera closes in on him, but the perspective of the corn does not change, revealing the other side of the window to be a blue or green screen, and not a farm.
Ray is standing in shoulder-high corn (mid summer) when his wife calls him in for dinner as the sun sets. This would be a pretty late dinner for a farm family with a young child. Sunset would be around 9pm.
While at Fenway Park, Ray sees the vision on the scoreboard which reads 10:30 and later 10:32. Ray immediately begins to write down what he sees on his scorecard. However, the closeup of the scorecard shows that it is the bottom of the 4th inning, so it should be closer to 830 at night. Furthermore, the scoreboard underneath "MOONLIGHT GRAHAM" has faint lettering that thanks the fans for attending and tells them to have a safe drive home. What most likely happened is that fans were asked to stay in Fenway Park after a regular game concluded for the purposes of filming that scene before a full crowd. The closeup of the scorecard was added later in editing but the filmmakers either forgot (or didn't care) that the time on the clock was inconsistent with the actual progress of the game.