DYERSVILLE, IA (WTVO/WQRF)–The eyes of the nation will be on Dyersville, Iowa Thursday night when the Cubs take on the Reds there in Major League Baseball’s second Field of Dreams Game. The movie, now 33 years old, put the small community on the map.

I made a visit there over the weekend to learn more about the community and the impact the movie and these MLB games there have made on it.

The population of Dyersville is a bit over 4,000 making it slightly bigger than Byron and Oregon.  As you might imagine it’s a quiet place except for when an occasional train rolls through.

There are images around town referencing the Field of Dreams. Some homes have bunting on their front porches.

Like most small towns Dyersville has firemen’s breakfasts and farmers markets. Young couples get married here. On a lazy summer day some folks go kayaking.

Residents are especially proud of their Basilica here which stretches above the rest of the community.

Dyersville is also known as the farm toy capital of the world. There is a company here that makes diecast farm toys, and each year they have two farm toy shows.

But it’s baseball that’s king in Dyersville, all because of that movie Kevin Costner made.

Baseball memorabilia and Field of Dreams memorabilia are in practically every storefront window. It’s that movie that keeps people from all over the country coming to Dyersville. This week the downtown will be packed with events. Most folks are excited with anticipation, but not all of them.

“I would say it’s a mixed bag,” said Carla Werning. She grew up in Dyersville. “Half of the people are really excited about all the hubbub, and the other half are like, what are you doing to our town?” 

Business owners like it because it means more business. Russ Steger owns the Palace Saloon Bar & Grill. I asked him if there is any chance some of the Cubs or Reds players might come to his establishment while they’re in town.

“I’m hoping so.”

One must-see spot downtown is the Baseball Building which houses a baseball museum and the Baseball Hall of Dreams. There is a little walking tour inside it that takes visitors past cornstalks and it teaches them about things like the Black Sox Scandal, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the making of the Field of Dreams movie and the actors who starred in it.  There’s also a replica of the farmhouse porch swing in there and a replica of the scoreboard at the Field of Dreams.

Is Dyersville Heaven, or simply Iowa? You be the judge. To me it’s definitely the epitome of small-town middle America, and it has one very big week ahead of it.

NOTE: The Field of Dreams game between the Cubs and the Reds will be played Thursday night. You can see if on Fox 39 in Rockford. The pregame show starts at 5 p.m. CT. The game is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m.
A minor league game between the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Cedar Rapids Kernels will be played there Tuesday night.