The Team of Dreams event Sept. 1 at the Field of Dreams was the first one held since the passing of Go the Distance Baseball CEO Denise Stillman, who died last November.
The vision of Stillman’s to build All-Star Ballpark Heaven is still alive. Among those at the field this year, as always, were Stillman’s father, Gale Miarecki, and Stillman’s friend and business partner, Wade Boggs.
“Denise is smiling down on us today,” Miarecki said. “You can almost feel her here.”
Miarecki, who has been coming out to the field since Stillman bought it in 2012, said he is “a proud father, a fan and an investor.” He said his daughter’s plans for the field are still alive.
“Nothing is off the table. Denise had big dreams and we’re hoping they come true.”
One of those dreams will come true next August when Major League Baseball brings the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees to the field for a game. Construction of the field, which lies just west of the Field of Dreams, is already underway.
“Denise worked on this for four years,” Miarecki explained. “Unfortunately, she won’t be here to share it with us, but one of her dreams is coming true.”
Miarecki acknowledged Boggs for his support of Go the Distance Baseball from the very beginning. “Wade is a good man. I love having him here. He’s a real down to Earth person. I couldn’t ask for a better friend.”
Following the softball game, Boggs reflected on his relationship with Stillman.
“I sat down with Denise so many times. I know her vision, I know where she wants to go with this. I’m going to be the one carrying that flag now. In fact, when this is finished, I’m going to plant a flag with her initials right on this mound.”
Boggs said next year’s game between the White Sox and Yankees will help. “We have some obstacles naturally, but the game is going to put us over the hump a little bit.”
He continued, “We’re going to do what we can to promote Dyersville, the Field of Dreams and everything like this. This is Americana. When you are standing here, you are on hallowed ground. This is goose bump city. Denise’s legacy will continue in Dyersville.”
Boggs said the Labor Day event continues to be successful. “Look at all the people that came out here tonight and had a great time. They saw Hall of Famers come out of the corn. And now, what prettier sight is there than seeing the sunset right through center field? This is beautiful. God bless Denise Stillman.”