Monday, June 15, 2015

Dipping in Magic Waters

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."

Field of Dreams is one of my all time favorite movies.  It is one of the few movies that can bring a tear to my eye, every time.  I love how both magic and a story of a son and his dad are intertwined.  A couple of years ago, I started to research the filming location for Field of Dreams, wondering if it still existed.  When I found out that the field was still in Iowa adjacent to the house featured in the movie, I made a very impulsive decision.  
I decided that I needed to visit the Field of Dreams.  I found out that flying into Chicago, Illinois would be the closest airport to Dyersville, Iowa, home to the Field of Dreams.  I also checked to see if the Chicago Cubs would be in town the weekend I selected to go on my spur of the moment trip.
I arrived in Chicago, rented a car, and drove directly to Wrigley Field.  Without any tickets to the game that was being played that afternoon.  After parking my car in a fast-food drive-thru, I walked towards the entrance of Wrigley Field.  Luckily, there were several people selling tickets.  I bought myself a ticket and headed inside.  I couldn't believe I was actually sitting in the oldest National League stadium in the MLB.  It was so small compared to the stadiums where I usually attend games in Anaheim and San Diego.  
The next day, I woke up early to make the nearly four hour drive from Chicago to Dyersville, Iowa.  When I checked the map, I noticed that while it said the drive would take nearly four hours, that it was only 200 or so miles.  I thought that perhaps the map wasn't accurate, because taking that long would not make sense.  I realized after I started driving, though that the reason it would take longer is because the route went through several small towns.  
Dyersville, Iowa is a small farming town, just as it is portrayed in Field of Dreams.  I felt as if I was entering the movie itself as I got closer to the farm house.  The only indicators that it is a tourist attraction are the large sign and small gift shop.  Before I had arrived, I was worried when I visited it that it wouldn't live up to my expectations.  But, it actually exceeded them.  Being able to throw a ball on the field and walk among the corn stalks was one of the best baseball related experiences I've ever had. 
Oh, and visiting Wrigley Field to catch a Cubs game was pretty neat too.

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