JD’s Ballpark Tour; Extra Innings in Iowa

Part ??: Field of Dreams

(AKA: Is this heaven?)
(AKA: No, it’s Iowa.)

Just when you thought my travels around all the ballparks were over… think again! I teased about this long ago, and I finally got around to putting this entire experience into words. You know those places that you’ve seen on the big screen and never thought you’d ever see with your eyes? Those places that only seem like something out of a fantasy world? Perhaps something that came right out of a book? Matt and I got to go to one of those places, and it was truly magnificent.

Ladies and gentlemen, we fulfilled a bucket list item and got to visit the “Field of Dreams” movie site. Not only did we get to visit the site, but we also got to see what it was like on one of their “Ghost Sunday” games that is fun for the family. How would our visit stack up?

Ballpark 32… sorta: Field of Dreams, elevation of about 1000 feet.
The game…: Well, there were these players, see, and they came out of the corn field…


It was sunny, it was sweltering, it was perfect. There were cars lined up on the grassy sides of the road in the middle of Iowa. This destination was well off the beaten path, but people certainly did come on this glorious day. When we arrived, we saw a multitude of people still playing a game of catch just before they were asked to clear the field for “Ghost Sunday.” During this time, fans were invited to check out the trailer which acted as a makeshift store for the venue. They actually had some cool little trinkets at this store, but I wasn’t looking into buying souvenirs. Mainly, I didn’t have that much cash left since I used it on drinks and souvenirs from St. Louis.

The property, itself, has mostly been left alone since filming took place nearly three decades ago at this site. The house still looks the same with about the same fencing as we see in the iconic film. The fence also has a couple banners strewn about for fans to relish. As for the surrounding parts, it really does feel like a farm with a vast corn field. The entire property feels like a classic Midwestern movie.

After walking all around the house and taking everything in, I managed to find a seat in the bleachers. Yes, those bleachers… the very ones that were made for the film on the first base side. These seats were once occupied by Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones. Even better, this bench still had an engraving that said… “Ray Loves Annie.” Once the music from the iconic film began playing, the “ghost players” made an incredible appearance. One player slowly crept towards the field from the thick husks of corn… and then he vanished right back into the corn field. Only a few seconds later… the whole team emerged from the corn and walked towards the diamond mimicking the “Field of Dreams” film. I was in awe of the whole thing.

As the festivities began, I sat on that bench realizing that I was, in fact, in Iowa. This was a place that I never thought I’d ever see with my own eyes. In the midst of taking everything in, I cracked open my last bottle of that spectacular Killebrew cream soda I mentioned on that post at Target Field. For some reason, this seemed like the perfect setting to have that drink, and why not? Maybe the late-great, Harmon Killebrew, was actually looking down on us… just like in the film.

Ghost Sunday was more of a funsies pick-up game where they play a few outs, switch players around, and get the crowd involved in the fun. This felt like something similar to watching a Harlem Globetrotters game….. for absolute fun. Here’s the cool thing about this game… kids got to play and be the center of attention! It’s like they get to live out their big-league dreams.

As they kept playing, the action on and off the field got wackier, and everybody had the times of their lives. I also realized that some of the players on the field were actual background players from the original “Field of Dreams” film. I could hardly believe my eyes that I was seeing players from this iconic film… all wearing their 1919-era Chicago White Sox gear. Luckily, I was wearing the right hat for the occasion. While I didn’t want the game to end, I was happy to meet all of the “ghost players” and get a plethora of autographs from everyone. Getting to meet all of them was an absolute treat.

After the crowds dissipated, Matt and I got to mess around on the field and take our own pictures. Yes, I couldn’t pass up the chance to come out of the corn fields. This was like a bucket list item being crossed off my checklist. I came out of the corn field, I got to sit on the bench and admire the field. I really took everything in and let the atmosphere engulf me in a sea of baseball nostalgia.

I highly recommend going to this baseball oasis, especially if you are the truest of true baseball fans. Going here is a bucket list item for many, but coming here on a ghost Sunday enhances the entire experience. It may not quite be heaven, but this place comes pretty close. Once again, thank you all for reading along, and I hope to see you at the ballpark!

-JD

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