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If you build it ….. they will come!

If you are a baseball fan, chances are you have seen one of the best baseball movies all time in “Field Of Dreams“. From sitting on the same benches as Kevin Costner to viewing the Field that happens to have been built after plowing down a corn field, this place is a perfect day trip for the avid baseball fan!

One story I was able to overhear while visiting was too good not to share with you.

A group of baseball players that played ‘extra’s in the field’ during the filming of the movie continued to play a regular Sunday night game after the picture went to Hollywood.  Tourists liked this idea so much that they asked the landowners if they could have the players play every year.

The following year, and unbeknownst to a 300 passenger bus of Japanese Tourists, in the middle of the night mind you, the group of ball players walked through the cornfields and reached the grass in the outfield as the tourists gasped with nervous energy.  The tour guide never had told this group that these players were to arrive.  The Japanese tourists clapped their hands feverishly as the players took the field and played.

The Japanese tourists were so impressed with the caliber of play – and for what these ballplayer’s had done for them – that they hired these two teams to travel all throughout Japan year round and play exhibition games.  All of the extras (who all had played semi-pro in some fashion) had a great career now.  Even to this day, there is a new generation of men playing with the old style “Sox” jerseys around the world.

The Field of Dreams Movie Site sees 300-400 visitors a day, and for this humble Canadian, I went there during the All-Star Break of 2008, after I had been chasing the World Record for 3 weeks.  Having a chance to view this landmark for over 5 hours, and talking with several different other visitors, this park only grew my appreciation for the game of baseball more.  It was a great way to settle down after a 3 week stint of chaos.

Quick Tips:

Fly into Milwaukee via Air Tran on any flight you can view from the best Airline in America.  Try to tie it in with the Chicago teams. Milwaukee, St. Louis or Minnesota on a baseball vacation.  Luckily for you, Milwaukee has is one of the cheaper cities to rent a car, and/or pay for lodging. Use Priceline (www.priceline.com) to bid on your hotel rooms-and you will be amazed at what price you will only have to pay.

To drive to the Field of Dreams Movie Site will take you about 4 hours from the Milwaukee International Airport.  The park is still as beautiful as it was when the movie was a hit nearly a quarter-century ago.  This amazing landmark must be on a baseball fan’s bucket list.  Not only is it a fantastic attraction – but there is no cover charge to see the Field!

Those who visit are welcome to bring bats, balls and gloves to break out in a pickup game.  Visitors from all over will just come and do the same.  Be sure to buy something from the gift shop on your way out as that is how the kind landowners are able to keep up the maintenance of this truly amazing ballpark in Iowa.

*******There is a Best Western in Dodgeville-about a 90 minute drive North East from this movie site-where you can stay for under $100 a night.  Dodgeville does have a Wal-Mart and is one of the nicest heritage towns in America.

Go The Distance!

 

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