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Is There A Field Of Dreams Baseball Field?
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Is There A Field Of Dreams Baseball Field?

Thanks to a group of die-hard fans, and its status as a permanent piece of Americana, nearly every English-speaking person on the Northern hemisphere is familiar with the movie Field of Dreams. Actually, due to its popularity, there are literally millions of non-English speaking people around the world who are familiar with the film, too--just ask anyone from Japan. Released 23 years ago to rave reviews, the movie was nominated for a 1989 Academy Award in the Best Picture Category. But even with all the popularity, some people are surprised to learn that there still is, and will continue to be, a real Field of Dreams baseball field.

After reading Canadian author W.P. Kinsella's book 'Shoeless Joe', about a farmer who hears a mysterious voice and obeys its suggestion to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn crop, movie director Phil Alden Robinson decided to bring the heartwarming tale about love, redemption and second chances to the big screen. With the blessing of Universal Studios and some help from the Iowa Film Board, Robinson began scouting farms all over Iowa, the Midwest, and even some provinces in Canada. Eventually, a farm owned by Don Lansing near Dyersville, Iowa was selected, and the movie Field of Dreams was made during the summer of 1988.

To accommodate the movie's baseball setting, a large swath of farmer Lansing's cornfield was razed and a baseball field was constructed in just four days. On August 16, 1988, after 68 days of shooting, filming came to an end and the entire Hollywood entourage left town, leaving the revamped Lansing farmhouse and the baseball field intact. On April 20, 1989, Field of Dreams made its world debut in Dubuque, Iowa. Weeks later, as if fulfilling a prophesy from the movie ("if you build it, he will come"), a constant stream of visitors began making its way up Don Lansing's driveway to see the field and experience the magic for themselves. That was 23 years ago, and the stream has never stopped.

Today, the Field of Dreams in Iowa remains in its original condition, just the way it was when the movie producers left town, and every year more than 65,000 Field of Dreams fans pay a visit to this little piece of heaven in Iowa. Perhaps 'pay' was a bad choice of words--owner Don Lansing has never charged a penny for visitors to come and frolic on his grass and baseball field. He offsets the cost of field maintenance by operating a souvenir shop, both online and at the field, and on-site visitors who appreciate his kindness are free to leave donations in a box behind home plate.

Currently the Lansing farm, including the baseball field and house in which the movie was shot, are under contract to be sold. A Chicago-area couple wants to 'go the distance' by expanding the site into a 24-field baseball/softball complex and training facility. The prospective new owners do plan, however, to keep the original movie site and farmhouse intact, allowing future generations the opportunity to discover for themselves that there really is a piece of heaven on earth, and they can find it at the Field of Dreams baseball field in Dyersville, Iowa.


Street Talk

It sure does exist. and it is not very far from my house. Thanks for the memories!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for reading, Shawn. Close to the field, eh? Then you probably already know the new owners closed on the property December 28th, and construction of the 24-field baseball / softball complex will begin this spring. I have grave reservations about the impact this new development will have on the mystique, serenity and ambience of the place. Preliminary sketches place large parking lots on either side of the twin driveways leading up to the field and house. I can't imagine that being a plus. I plan to add a new tab to my website this week that will examine the sale and development of the property. Hoping for the best.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

brings back fond memories - great article and great writing

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, Steve. Have you been to the field?

Reply
  about 9 years ago

One of my all-time favorite movies! Thanks for sharing! Joyce aka Nana

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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