You don’t need to drive very far on any summer night to find a baseball game going on somewhere in Dubuque County, as the area is rich in baseball history. With the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees slated to play the first Major League Baseball game in Iowa Thursday, Aug, 13, at the Field of Dreams, local officials are seizing the opportunity to showcase the county with Beyond the Game: An Iowa Baseball Experience.
Presented by Travel Iowa and Midwest One Bank, it is a partnership and series of events taking place Aug. 12-15 between the City of Dyersville, the Field of Dreams Movie Site, Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce, Dyersville Economic Development Corporation, Dubuque County, City of Dubuque, Travel Dubuque and Travel Iowa.
Keith Rahe, president and CEO of Travel Dubuque, explained the county-wide scope of activities. “We’re going to be trying to highlight the whole county, but most of the events during that time frame will be in Dyersville.”
The batting order of possibilities includes concerts at Dubuque venues and a display at the National Mississippi River Museum highlighting the history of baseball in Dubuque County, and Rahe said they are working with the Tri-County Historical Society Museum in Cascade, which houses the Clarence “Red” Faber section.
Dyersville event sites include Westside Park and Commercial Club Park, and the group is working with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on an exhibit.
Rahe said there will be areas of sports memorabilia on display and for sale, former major league ballplayers and actors from baseball-related movies, and Q&A sessions.
If visitors want to sit down and catch their breath, there will also be showings of the movies”Field of Dreams” and “The Sandlot.” Downtown Dyersville will also showcase the “If You Build It” exhibit from May through November. This exhibit will chronicle the Field of Dreams, including the making of the movie, the major events that have taken place there, and the history of the Ghost Players and their many exploits on baseball fields near and far.
The Ghost Players will also participate in a celebrity softball game versus the USA Patriots — a squad made up of soldiers who have lost limbs in their service to the nation.
“We anticipate a lot of people coming to the area just for the experience,” Rahe said.
Information on lodging, shuttle service and schedule of events will be frequently updated at Beyondthegameiowa.com.