“Is this heaven? No…it’s Iowa”

Since the Clinton Lumberkings (that would be the Seattle Mariners single-A farm team) was out of town when my parents and I were passing through Iowa, we opted for the next best baseball option in the area: The Field of Dreams movie set.

In case you haven’t seen the 1989 flick, the movie stars Kevin Costner as an Iowa farmer. He hears a voice that cryptically tells him to build a baseball field in the middle of his field and take a cross country trip to find a reclusive author. Back in Iowa, players’ long-dead (particularly Shoeless Joe Jackson and other White Sox accused of throwing the 1919 World Series) emerged from the cornfield to once again partake in their favorite pastime. The movie is based on the book Shoeless Joe, but the movie is better. Although to be honest, I only got through ½ the book and I’ve seen the movie dozens of times.

The baseball field is still in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, and it is free (Yes! Free!) to visitors. The couple who owns the property is (according to their website) committed to keeping the site from getting over-commercialized, and they’ve done a good job. There is a small shack of souvenirs and an information board about the field and movie, but that’s pretty much it. Families are free to run around the bases (much smaller than a regulation ball field), walk through the surrounding cornfields, take in the sites from wooden bleachers, play catch in the outfield, and take batting practice from home plate. Don’t forget to bring your own baseball gear.

The Field is scheduled to be sold in late 2012, but apparently the new owners are also committed to keeping the site as is and accessible to visitors. We will see. Presently, Field of Dream hours are 9am – 6pm, and the field is open daily from April 1st to November 30th. The Field is located at 28995 Lansing Road in Dyersville Iowa, which is in the middle of nowhere. You can check their website for a map (and other information, including movie trivia) and directions, although my GPS got us there with no problems.

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