Kernels pitcher, with family history in Dyersville, ready to step foot on Field of Dreams

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Tuesday will mark the the first-ever Minor League Baseball game at the Field of Dreams. This will also be the first time one Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher will step foot on the movie site after growing up in the Hawkeye state.

“Throughout my baseball career, one of the first questions I get is ‘have you been to the Field of Dreams?’ Being able to play it in next week, is going to be pretty cool,” Matt Mullenbach said.

It was surprising to hear that the Urbandale native has never been to the Field of Dreams.

“I’ve really never been up to that part of Iowa for anything growing up. Baseball tournaments were always kind of in the Des Moines area, Kansas City and Omaha,” he added.

Especially, considering his family’s history in the town.

“My dad actually proposed to my mom in Dyersville,” Mullenbach explained.

In the 1980′s, Dyersville became a special place for the Mullenbach’s.

“I played baseball at Buena Vista University in the late 80′s, graduated and had a buddy that was from he Dyersville area and took a job in Chicago. My future wife was teaching in Iowa, so Dyersville is where we’d meet because I’d come back from Chicago on the weekends to play baseball,” said Matt’s father Dan Mullenbach.

One weekend turned into a proposal and after more 30 years of marriage, Barb and Dan will get to return to the Field of Dreams for the first time to watch their son play baseball.

“The spectacle will be nice, but as a pitcher’s dad, you just want him to get outs,” Dan said.

Mullenbach was reassigned to the Kernels in early July, which is the closest he’s played to home in a while. Before this, he was in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“In the college years, I would drive 12 hours. I would leave at midnight on Thursday to go down to Tennessee. When he was in Fort Myers, I would have to wait till the high school baseball season was done because I would umpire. I’d go down there for four days - so this is heaven,” Dan added.

No Dan, it’s Iowa, but this opportunity is going to be special for the family.

“It’s probably going to feel surreal. Just watching the movie a bunch of times, when I get there, it will probably feel like a little bit of dream,” Mullenbach said.

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