Quite simply, this is life imitating art.
In NewsFeed’s opinion, one of the greatest baseball movies ever is Field of Dreams, which starred Kevin Costner as farmer Ray Kinsella who hears a strange voice essentially convince him to build a baseball field for the long deceased (and disgraced) Chicago White Sox team of 1919.
Now while we’re not quite expecting something similar to take place any time soon, two fans of the film have purchased the Iowa farm where the 1989 movie was made. Mike and Denise Stillman have done their homework and said that around 65,000 people visit the site near Dyersville, Iowa each year, simply to play catch or run the bases.
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Sounds like an opportunity, right? Soon after Mike visited the location with his 10-year-old son last year, he found out that the field was for sale, so he and his wife made an offer. While the purchase price hasn’t been disclosed, the longtime owners of the land, Don and Becky Lansing, supposedly priced it at $5.4 million, as NewsFeed wrote last year.
But for those of you who fear that the Stillmans (and their investment group) are only in it for the money, you’ll be relieved to find out that they intend to not only preserve the iconic diamond but will set about building a bunch of fields and an indoor training dome on the 193-acre property. The stated aim is to transform the area into a Midwestern hub for youth baseball as well as softball practice and tournaments in 2014. When you consider that the St. Louis Cardinals just won the World Series in the most dramatic fashion ever, and their near rivals the Milwaukee Brewers had the best home record in baseball this past season, the future looks pretty bright for that neck of the woods.
“It is truly one of the most special places in the U.S. for baseball,” the 42-year-old Stillman (and Chiacgo White Sox fan) told the Chicago Tribune. “It is pretty cool to go out on that field and know that you will have some piece of it.” Wife Denise, 39, was more pragmatic, saying “It’s the right time for this, we just know that it’s going to be a huge success.”
But when you’re talking baseball feelgood stories in the Windy City, there is still one tale that beats all others. And if the Chicago Cubs can somehow end their now 103-year World Series drought, that would make “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and mysterious voices whispering in a cornfield seem like a walk in the park. Perhaps a better motto would be, if you believe it, they will win.
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