Vandalism at Field of Dreams site now getting fixed

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DYERSVILLE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Field of Dreams baseball site outside Dyersville sustained extensive damage during an incident of vandalism in January. And the tire tracks that ruined parts of the infield and outfield at the movie site are finally under repair.

Volunteers work at the Field of Dreams site near Dyersville on Monday, April 16, 2018. Work is finally underway to fix vandalism from last January. (Dave Franzman/KCRG-TV9)

Despite the snow on the ground, the donated sod was cut and volunteers arrived Monday morning to start repairs.

Many hands, and pieces of machinery, leveled the infield on Monday to prepare for the new grass.

Volunteers included a number of people in baseball such the Iowa Wesleyan University baseball team that came up from Mt. Pleasant to work on the repairs.

Jack De Burgh, one of the players, is from Australia. He says it was a dream for him to work on something he first saw in a movie.

“Obviously, being a baseball player, everybody knows about the Field of Dreams. So it’s an actual dream to be able to come out and work with everyone,” he said.

Denise Stillman, one of the site owners, said despite the cold and snow it’s actually a good time to put down new sod because the ground has thawed and contains plenty of moisture.

“It’s going to be a beautiful field. It’s beautiful now, it’ll be even better,” she commented.

A fund drive after the vandalism incident had a goal of $15,000. Donors contributed $20,000.

The final repair bill isn’t known yet because there’s concerns about damage to a sprinkler system and that can’t be tested until it’s warmer.

Police arrested Austin Pape for driving on the field in January and causing what was then estimated at more than $5,000 in damages.

Pape faces a second degree criminal mischief charge with trial set to start June 26th.