It’s been lovingly maintained since the first fans found the farm and field where Field of Dreams was filmed. , Owners Don and Becky Lansing believe that if you maintain it, they will come. Sales from a small souvenir stand support its upkeep, so like the ghost players stepping out of the cornfield, real aficionados can step onto the very baseball diamond used in the film, sit on the bleachers and walk to the cornfield.
For the Love of the Sport of Baseball
The working farm and house was selected in 1988 for the site of the film based on the book, Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella. A portion of a neighbor’s farm was used for the outfield.
In The Field of Dreams, while struggling to make ends meet, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a city boy turned farmer, hears a voice telling him to build the baseball field. Turning a viable corn crop into a ball diamond invokes the taunting of his neighbors, but baseball is in Ray’s blood as his late father was an avid Chicago White Sox fan.
Nominated for three Oscars in 1990, the film also starred James Earl Jones as Terrance Mann, a sports writer who once had dreams of a professional career in baseball and Burt Lancaster as Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, who gave up the hard life of baseball for medicine.
In the film, the baseball field attracts the ghosts of former players. The original line, “If you build it, he will come,” refers to Ray’s ghost father coming back to visit. Rather than plow the baseball field under to save the farm, Ray believes Terrance that tourists will come.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Image the Lansing’s surprise when people started to show up at their farm. According to a sign at the movie site, the field attracts tens of thousands of visitors between April and November, including tourists from foreign countries.
The owners of the outfield planted corn the year the movie was released, but soon became believers, too. Restoring the field, they erected their own souvenir stand. In 2007, the Lansings purchased the outfield acreage consolidating ownership.
The house used in the Field of Dreams sits on a hill overlooking the ball diamond. It is the private residence of the Lansings and not open to the public.
If planning a visit, pack the baseball equipment for a pickup game and perhaps a picnic lunch to eat on the bleachers. There is no food available, but the souvenir stand sells a variety of licensed movie mementos. A baseball cap and sunscreen is recommended for there is no shade on the field.
The Field is Located in Dyersville, Iowa, West of the Mississippi River
To paraphrase another line from the movie, “Is it heaven? No, it’s Iowa”, the Field of Dreams movie site is located northeast of Dyersville, Iowa, 25 miles west of Dubuque and the Mississippi River. If in the neighborhood or just a fan of the film, come and play ball.
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