In baseball, there are a few things every fan wants to experience. Watching their team play in a world series, running the bases in a professional baseball field and seeing the Field Of Dreams Movie Site in Iowa. It’s that reason the Yankees and White Sox scheduled a regular-season game there for the 2020 season. The Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville Iowa is home to an amazing baseball field, and the end of summer they play a Team of Dreams event, featured baseball legends. This year I finally made it down there.
The Legacy of Baseball in America
To me baseball was one of those things I would watch with my dad under the lights of the Metrodome, eating peanuts we smuggled into a binoculars case. Watching the Field of Dreams brought back so many memories of how much baseball has been part of my life. It also showed me how something as simple as watching a game with your Dad could be so memorable to your kids’ lives. I was envious of those that could watch the game outside, hoping that one day we’d get to experience a game in a place other than a commercialize concrete enclosure.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers, it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuild and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.” – James Earl Jones, The Field of Dreams
The Field of Dreams Movie Site
The Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville IA has become an attraction since the film finished almost 30 years ago. People still come today to stand on the field and feel like they are part of something great. Even if it was just a story that Hollywood created. It has become etched of any baseball fans mind as a perfect place to throw the ball around and play outdoors like baseball is meant to be played.
At the Field of Dreams movie site, visitors can run the bases, and walk out of the cornfields, just as they did in the movie all free. The farmhouse that the fictional Kinsella family lived in is still standing and available for tours for a small fee. And at the end of every summer, people from all over to relive some of their favorite baseball memories.
The Team of Dreams
The Team of Dreams is a celebration of Major League Baseball’s most accomplished stars. Each year, they gather the best of the best players the league has had. They come to share their experiences, sign autographs and have some fun with the fans. Then when it is all done, they get on the field, coming right out of the cornfield and start up a game.
This year, in addition to former baseball players, celebrities from two of my favorite baseball movies made an appearance. They are The Sandlot and A League of their Own. While the movie stars may not have played the game like the baseballs players did, they reached a new generation of kids. These movies taught us when it meant to love the game.
Game Day at the Field of Dreams
The activities start late on Saturday night at a local theatre, with a screening of The Sandlot and A League of Their Own with q/a session with the cast. The next morning breakfast starts with the pro’s, a silent auction, and members of the Ghost Players will pitch to kids on the field. Fans can get their autographs from their favorite celebrities.
On Sunday we arrived midday to a full field packed with lawn chairs, blankets and kids playing catch. The excitement of the day was already building. People from all over the country had come to celebrate both baseball and the movie. People were emerging in and out of the corn just like they did in the movie. Before the game, they had a 30 minute Q&A with two retired baseball players, David Ross and Mike Boddicker. They talked about baseball and everyone had some good laughs. They even took fan questions.
The Mayor of Dyersville came out to introduce the game and said something that really stuck with me. The reason the movie location is so popular and why the movie is so celebrated is because it’s not about the story. It’s about what baseball means to me. That’s why it has stuck with us for so long.
Team of Dreams Celebrity Game Time
About 10 minutes before the opening ceremony, fans started to line up along the center field rope. The music started and out from the corn, the first ghost player emerged. He quickly retreated back into the corn and brought the rest of the guys out. Between the music and the excitement of the moment, it was something that I will never forget. Then they took the field.
Each celebrity player joined them after being introduced. I was mildly excited to see the retired pro’s, I was more excited to see the celebrities. Celebrities like Lori Petty, Chauncey Leopardi, and Marla Hootch each surprised me by their long list of credits. Did you know Brandon Quintin Adams (aka Kenny deNunez from The Sandlot) also played as Jessi Hall in the Mighty Ducks? It was like seeing all supporting actors from my favorite movies I had grown up with.
Game time was all laughs as most of the players our just out there to have a good time. What surprised me the most was the ability of both Megan Cavanaghand (Marla Hootch) & Tom Guiry (Smalls). Megan also played Broomhilda from Robinhood Men in Tights, and after hearing that, it was all I could think of. She had so much fun on the field. She caught in right field, hit, ran and pitched. Megan stayed out the entire game.
Tom (Smalls) played the role in the Sandlot of someone who didn’t know how to catch a ball. He’s learned a lot since then. Out in Left Field, he was making unbelievable catches. He blew me out of the water. All of the celebrities came out with so much enthusiasm, it was infectious. It’s excactly why we fell in love with their characters on TV.
The entire game my son kept wanting to yell out “You’re Killing Me Smalls” or ” For-ev-ver!” to Squintz. I wasn’t about to discourage the 5-year-old but was too nervous to do it. The guys all embraced their characters and loved that there was a new generation of fans still enjoying their work.
Best way to go to the game
The Team of Dreams Celebrity Game has different options to experience the game. You can visit with as little as a blanket and a folding chair, or go all out and do a VIP experience complete with bleacher seating, breakfast, Q&A’s with the players. It depends how into it you want to be. For me, I opted for seating in the outfield. I may not have gotten as close to all the players, but it didn’t matter to me. Its baseball after all!
Other Times to Visit
The Team of Dreams is just one of the events the Field of Dreams Movie Site puts on. 359 Days of the year, you can visit the field, get a tour of the home and enjoy this amazing ball field. 24 hrs. advanced reservations are needed for home tours.
Ghost Sunday at the Field of Dreams is another popular event, held one Sunday of the month. This free show starts with players emerging from the corn in 1919 White Sox Uniforms, just like in the movie. After they are announced, each player selects a kid from the audience for the hour-long game. According to Kylie from Between England and Iowa, the ghosts play by their own rules. Playing tricks on them the whole time and keeping everything very fun. They are like the Harlem Globetrotters of Baseball. After the game wraps up, the players stick around to sign autographs.
Is this Heaven? No, It’s Iowa.
After spending a few minutes at the Field of Dreams Movie Site I was in heaven. For people that can appreciate life outside of the big city and want to unwind, you’ll love it. The field is located in Dyersville, Iowa. I ended up camping at New Wine Park about 10 minutes away. It is a great campground with tons of privacy. If you are in this part of the country, I would definitely recommend a visit to the Field of Dreams Movie Site. You don’t have to go to a big weekend event. Truthfully, there always seems to be something going on there.