“Build it and they will come.” And they most certainly did as I along with several hundred others made the trek to the Field of Dreams movie site last night. During the summer, there are Ghost Sunday games where the “ghosts” emerge from the cornfield in the wool, vintage baseball uniforms just like in the movie and play baseball with kids from the audience. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, this place really is in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness for GPS because I was driving in nothing but cornfields for a long time with only an occasional house popping up here and there. And then I saw the sign! (Also please forgive the horrible quality of these photos. I was having technical issues all night.)
I showed up about 15 minutes before game time and wasn’t expecting the place to be as packed as it was. I was one of a solid 200-300 cars parked in another cornfield you had to cross to get to THE cornfield.
It was pretty cool to walk up the driveway to see the house is still there and families lining the field in lawn chairs and on blankets, all waiting to watch the ghosts come out of the cornfield and play ball.
It is crazy to me to think that this movie came out 26 years ago and this place still draws huge crowds. I think it shows the power of baseball.
Five minutes after I laid out my beach towel, I heard the music from the movie and got goosebumps. I turned around and saw a player come out of the cornfield. Needless to say, I turned into a little kid again watching as all of them came out of the corn together.
They all jogged into the field and introduced themselves. About five of the guys who play on the Ghost team were in the movie 26 years ago. Their sons have even taken up playing for the team which is kind of cool. Another guy they introduced carries a Screen Actor’s Guild card and gets royalties every time Field of Dreams airs because he had one line: Look out! He joked that his last royalty check was for $9.18. It was really cool to hear them talk about how they’ve toured all over the world and have been to 47 states. I guess I never really thought about just how far-reaching baseball is. They asked who had traveled the furthest and you hear answers like Arkansas, Washington, Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Now for the main event, the game itself. Well, I call it a game. They called it a show. Each player picked a few kids out of the crowd to hit and play against them. It turns into shenanigans using the kids because the team never gets an out. One kid came up to bat and the catcher asked him a question. The kid turned around to answer it and they threw a ball past him for strike one. A really small boy came up to bat and they announced him as recently retired MLB star Derek Jeter. The kid took a practice swing and they said he was a big hitter before the guys went all the way back into the cornfield for him to hit. It was funny and cute. Later in the game, the third base stands all said together catcher’s got a big butt and they grabbed some water and tossed it into the stands. They did warn us that it was an interactive show.
After the game, they stayed and signed autographs and took pictures for every person that came out to the game. It was cool to see. And to think, a baseball movie released 26 years ago could bring thousands of strangers together in the middle of an Iowa cornfield……