DYERSVILLE, Iowa — As a yellow school bus would pull up every few minutes on Friday afternoon outside of Dyersville, each person who stepped off and walked along the gravel road up to the Field of Dreams Movie Site had a different story.
“My wife was, like, ‘oh, I’ve gotta get tickets for that,’” said Ron Lovell, who drive ten hours with his 13-year-old son, Tucker, from Nashville, Tenn., to be part of the 25th anniversary of the acclaimed movie’s release.
Both father and son had been marking this day since finding out the movie site was holding this weekend of festivities. Until now, Field of Dreams was a movie Tucker Lovell had watched on one of his father’s prehistoric video devices.
“My dad pulled out the VCR to see it,” admitted Tucker.
The technology may move on but, for many of the parents spending their weekend in Dyersville, the message of treasuring the time that we all have resonates.
“The whole ‘have a catch’ with your son and the whole message behind the movie, everything that comes with the movie is just amazing,” said Ron Lovell.
The Lovells did not drive the longest distance to reach the famous field.
“I took the day off work and I left Thursday and got in late last night,” said Sally Lloyd of Toronto, Canada, who said she drove twelve hours because she is a “huge Kevin Costner fan”.
Michael Dunn, of Mount Vernon, only had to drive about 45 minutes to get from home to the movie site. Yet he drives a long way to catch his favorite team.
“We drive seven hours all the time,” said Dunn, a Cincinnati Reds season ticket holder living in Iowa. “We’re driving to Milwaukee on Sunday.”
Dunn was with his wife and young son, Samuel, who had the opportunity to throw and catch with Costner.
“Pretty awesome,” Samuel Dunn said in describing the experience.
Bob Costas, legendary sportscaster, commentator and quite possibly the most respected baseball expert on the planet, hosted interviews with cast members, including Kevin Costner and Timothy Busfield.
“It really does resonate 25 years later,” said Costas. “It’s one of those films that is, it’s one thing to be critically acclaimed, it was nominated for an Academy Award. There are just some films that just stick with you and, if you get it, not everybody does but, if this connects with you, it just stays with you.”
Once the sun dropped, the movie itself played on a large screen, perched in center field.
The movie’s legacy is evident, both in praise and its box-office power as the film made back nearly six times its $15 million budget. Shooting took place throughout the spring and summer of 1988 before its release one year later.
In recent years, more attention has come to the movie site as Go The Distance Baseball purchased the property in 2011 with plans to construct a multi-field baseball and softball complex. Yet, to this point, the original movie site remains, just as it had all those years and as it does for the thousands of people who make the trek to just outside of Dyersville each year.
“We’ll never forget it,” said Ron Lovell.