'Field of Dreams' ballpark a baseball heaven; All-time greats come out for charity game

Baseball's all-time hits leader Pete Rose.

September 15, 2013 4:20:25 AM PDT
The greatest living legends of baseball came to Iowa Saturday to play a charity game and celebrate a ballpark made famous by the movie "Field of Dreams."

Out of the corn we walk to an extraordinary field for a game played by names beyond extraordinary.

That's Wade Boggs at third. The Big Hurt is loosening up. Jim Palmer on the mound. And Ricky Henderson who can still go deep.

They are living legends who've come to Iowa to benefit Wounded Warriors and also to celebrate this place the home to the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams."

It is the favorite movie of one of the greatest catchers of all time. Johnny Bench played catch with his Dad next to the cornfield behind their Oklahoma home.

"When Kevin says at the end of the movie, 'Dad you wanna have a catch?' That's when the tears start flowin'," the Hall of Fame catcher said.

Yes People will most definitely come. Saturday by bus from remote parking, 4,000 came to see just as the movie said they would.

Chris Nevins brought his nephew Mack and son Jake who came to see Pete Rose.

"Charlie Hustle," the all-time hits king, said there would be no slides of any kind, but he also emerged from the corn.

"Did Joe Jackson get to do that? He did in the movie. They wouldn't let Ty Cobb play though, right? They didn't like that son of a bitch," Rose said.

The Field of Dreams is now owned by Denise and Mike Stillman of Oak Lawn who are moving ahead with plans to build a multi-diamond baseball complex here for youth travel teams and minor league clubs adjacent to the movie site.

"It's just an extension of what we're trying to do is to create more Major League Baseball players to come out of the corn and that's what we'll do by building all-star ballpark heaven within the corn," Denise Stillman said.

So taken by the plan, Hall of Famer Wade Boggs has become one of the owners with the Stillmans and he's looking to next year

"We're going to make this a yearly thing," Boggs said.

Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, was there. He came out of the corn with some corn.

Doc Gooden was here too, and Rod Carew, and Ozzie Smith, and Jim Rice, and Paul Molitor, and Bruce Sutter. Fans sat in their shirtsleeves and watched their heroes while some had a catch at a place that is part of the fabric of baseball.

The movie of course asks the question, "Is this heaven?" Saturday, for baseball fans, it most certainly was.

Next year, the event is expected to be even bigger as it will be the 25th anniversary of the movie.

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