Yes, the Field of Dreams is a real place — and it's in Iowa. Here are 15 things you should know.
The "Field of Dreams" site near Dyersville has cemented its place in Iowa sports history.
For years, the "Field of Dreams' movie site has been a tourist draw for baseball fans and people who love the 1989 film featuring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones.
On Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, the attention of baseball fans from across the nation was on Dyersville when Major League Baseball hosted a game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox at a specially constructed stadium near the movie site.
The game, originally scheduled to be played in 2020, ended in dramatic fashion with a walk-off homerun by the White Sox..
Here are 15 things to know about the "Field of Dreams" movie site, the film and the game played in Iowa.
Where is Dyersville and the Field of Dreams?
Dyersville is located in eastern Delaware County and western Dubuque County, in eastern Iowa. The "Field of Dreams" movie site is a few miles northeast of Dyersville. Scenes from the movie were filmed there, as well in and around Dyersville and Dubuque and Galena, Illinois. The Dyersville site became a tourist attraction after the movie was released. Major League Baseball built a 8,000-seat stadium near the original movie site to host the game.
Dyersville: Population 4,477
Dyersville's population in 2020 increased about 10 percent from 2010, according to U.S. census numbers. In 2020, there with 4,477 people living in Dyersville, up from 4,058 in 2010. While still overwhelmingly white (92.5 percent), minority numbers have grown since 2010, when Dyersville was 97.6 percent white.
'Field of Dreams' movie puts Iowa in spotlight
The movie stars Costner as Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who turns his cornfield into a baseball field after hearing a voice proclaiming, "If you build it, he will come."
The seeds of the movie started in the mind of W.P. Kinsella while he was enrolled at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in Iowa City. Filmmaker Phil Alden Robinson fell in love with Kinsella's story and spent several years trying to get a screenplay green-lit. Eventually, he got the go-ahead and the Hollywood descended onto eastern Iowa for 68 days in the summer of 1988. The movie, which earned about $64 million in the box office, was nominated for three Academy Awards, including best picture.
Since the movie was released, Dyersville has drawn baseball fans from around the world to the film site.
'Field of Dreams' cast
In the movie, Costner's character travels to Boston to find author Terence Mann, portrayed by Jones.
The movie also stars Amy Madigan as Ray's wife, Annie, and a young Gaby Hoffmann as their daughter, Karin. Ray Liotta stars as "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, a member of the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox." Dwier Brown plays John Kinsella, Ray's father.
Dwier returned to Dyersville to restore the abandoned Tegeler Dairy building. He also partnered with West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee on a "Field of Dreams" cereal. A portion of the sale of each box of cereal will benefit a nonprofit that helps children who experience the loss of a parent, caregiver or sibling.
Where to watch the 'Field of Dreams' movie
"Field of Dreams" can be streamed on the Peacock network. It's also available for purchase on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Vudu, among other sites.
How much does it cost to stay at the 'Field of Dreams' house?
Fans can spend the night at the iconic white farmhouse where Ray Kinsella lived. Rates start at $500 and vary based on the night of the week, according to the Field of Dreams Movie Site website. Groups of up to seven can stay at the home. Guests receive a gift basket that includes a DVD of the movie and a bag of cheesy popcorn, among other items. One package even includes exclusive access to the Field of Dreams field.
How the Field of Dreams game came to be
The MLB and Go The Distance, the owners and operators of the movie site, have been working together on the Iowa game for years. In 2019, MLB announced the Yankees and White Sox would play in Dyersville in 2020. The Yankees were later replaced by the St. Louis Cardinals, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that game didn't happen. However, in November 2020, MLB announced that the game would be played in 2021.
Tickets to game were a hot commodity
Iowans had an opportunity to purchase tickets to the game by entering a lottery. Winners were contacted by MLB. One winner reached by the Register said she wasn't going to miss the opportunity to see the game in-person and paid $771 total for two tickets. Tickets on StubHub were pricier and some were priced at more than $10,000 for a pair of seats before the game.
What does the MLB stadium look like?
The stadium that the MLB built for the game is reminiscent of the old Comiskey Park, which was demolished in 1991.
A 12-foot wall was built in center field like Comiskey, for instance. Both teams' bullpens were also put behind the center field wall. A barn wood scoreboard was installed in right field. Even the stadium's dimensions, 335 feet down the left and right field lines and 400 feet to center, are similar.
"It's very reminiscent of old Comiskey Park in that fashion," Murray Cook of Brightview, who oversaw the building of the playing field, told the Register.
A Hollywood entrance by Kevin Costner and the players
Just like the movie, Yankees and White Sox players entered from a cornfield — in the case of the MLB's game, via a 16-foot removable fence panel in the right field wall.
But preceding players was Costner.
"The dream is still alive," Costner told the crowd. "There's probably just one question to answer: Is this heaven? Yes, it is. This field is for the players. Good luck today."
Throwbacks worn by Yankees, White Sox add to atmosphere
Adding to the vintage feel of the game were the uniforms that the players wore. Both teams donned specially designed throwbacks.
Chicago’s uniforms were white with navy pinstripes and the vintage “SOX” monogram stitched onto the left of the jersey. The cap for the White Sox was a matching white cap with navy pinstripes.
The Yankees’ uniform were gray with the “New York” wordmark stitched across the chest in navy blue. The team’s hat was also navy blue and has a larger interlocking “NY” logo in white.
Replica jerseys and other "Field of Dreams" collection items were sale at the MLB Shop website.
Who threw out the first pitch at the MLB's Field of Dreams game?
It looked as though 'Field of Dreams' actor Kevin Costner would do the honors, as before the game, he emerged from the cornfield with a baseball in his hand, making his way to the diamond.
Costner would go on to speak to the crowd in Dyersville, but nothing more. With no ceremonial first pitch, the game began just a few minutes later.
Baseball heaven. Home run heaven.
It didn't take long to witness the first MLB home run in Iowa history. In the bottom of the first inning, Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu shot flew into deep left field and sailed over the wall.
In total, there were eight home runs, with that last two adding to the game's drama.
Field of Dreams game had movie-like ending
In the top of the ninth, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his second home run of the night, giving the Yankees a 8-7 lead. However, that was the last home run of the night.
With one on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson connected on a pitch from Yankee arm Zack Britton, sending the ball rocketing past the right field wall. Anderson's emphatic homer gave the White Sox a 9-8 win.
"You can't script a movie any better," broadcaster John Smoltz said.
Who will play in 2022 Field of Dreams game? The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
That's the current plan.
Shortly before the Yankees-White Sox game, commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB would be returning to Dyersville in 2022.
A few days after the 2021 game, news broke that the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds will play in the 2022 game. The two teams will meet on Aug. 11, 2022, at the field near Dyersville. A baseball source with knowledge of the situation confirmed the news to the Des Moines Register. NBC Chicago first reported the news of the teams playing.
Information from Register archives contributed to the report.