By Susan Van Arsdale
Published July 28, 2022 in The Burg
This August 11, the Chicago Cubs will play the Cincinnati Reds in Dyersville, Iowa, in a stadium built for one game each summer.
The stadium is in the middle of a cornfield right next door to the setting for a movie called “The Field of Dreams.”
I don’t recommend trying to go to the game because tickets start around $300 and go as high as $6,000, but I would highly recommend visiting any other time.
The main attraction at The Field of Dreams is the house and ball diamond and corn field where the movie, “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones, was filmed.
One of the best scenes in the movie is when the ghosts of baseball past, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, come out of the cornfield to play ball on the diamond built just for them.
When the players walk on to the field, one of them says to Kinsella (Costner), “Is this heaven?” The answer is “No, it’s Iowa.” Of course when you visit the site you have to walk out into the corn, turn around and then burst out onto the ball diamond asking that question!
Kinsella, is challenged to find an old sports writer. Together they drive back to Kinsella’s farm, where he is challenged to build a baseball diamond for his father, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other ghosts of baseball past. Kinsella wants to build it, but he can’t imagine how it would ever work. Then a voice from the past whispers, “If you build it, they will come.” (Interesting note: This is actually a misquote. It should say “he will come” speaking of Kinsella’s father.)
And come he did. Kinsella gets to play some catch with his dad who died before when Kinsella was young. The last scene in the movie shows car headlights winding for miles to get to the new baseball diamond. The amazing thing is that people are still coming today to stand on that field and play a little catch. Admission to the diamond is free, though they do take donations.
When you visit you can also tour the house where the movie was filmed. The cost, according to their website, is $20. For $500 (and up, depending upon the package and number of people) you can rent the house for the night, watch the movie, play on the ball diamond, receive a gift package and attend any events happening that evening.
Occasionally they have special events such as youth baseball, men’s baseball, and men’s slow pitch tournaments. This year they have added a three day corn-hole tournament in August and a volleyball tournament in September. There is a calendar on their website.
Dyersville is located 25 miles west of Dubuque along the Mississippi River. It will take you a little over two hours to get there. Dyersville, itself, has developed into a tourist town with shops and restaurants and places to stay if you want more than baseball.
When I first visited the Field of Dreams it was only a baseball diamond, the house and a small souvenir shop. We played some baseball, toured the house and bought a couple of magnets. And of course we walked out of the corn onto the ball diamond. Now there is so much more.
Frank Thomas baseball Hall-of-Famer is involved in the Field of Dreams plans. He said."There's no better place in the world (for that) than this — to grow more fields, to get kids involved here daily. And that's one of my goals,” A new stadium was built just for this purpose.
Sitting in the stands you can still see the cornfields. Last year during the first ever MLB game there when White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson hit the winning walk-off home-run, the ball flew into the corn. It was awesome. There are plans to create a ball diamond complex for tournaments.
The park is closed the week of the Cubs game to get ready for the big game so plan to go soon or wait till after. If you decide to go, make sure you watch the movie first, and when you get there be sure to “play a game of catch” on the field.
And on your way home maybe stop at Olive Garden or The Steel Plow in Davenport for some great food! You should see the ice cream shakes and desserts at the Steel Plow!