Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs is investing in a youth sports tournament complex on the movie site of Kevin Costner’s “Field of Dreams.”
All-Star Ballpark Heaven will host youth baseball and softball tournaments on 24 fields in Dyersville, Iowa, said Mike Stillman, co-founder of Go the Distance Baseball LLC, on the real-estate development company’s website.
The complex will be similar to one near the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Boggs, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee and native of Omaha, Nebraska, said the facilities will be easier to reach for families in the Midwest.
“In this economic downtime, people in Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and various parts out west, it’s less travel and inexpensive travel,” Boggs, 54, said today in a telephone interview. “It’s a win-win proposition, not only for the kids, but for the parents involved also.”
Boggs, who played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, didn’t reveal his share of the project, valued at $38 million by the Associated Press.
He said the planned indoor facilities will allow kids to train year-round, a luxury for young baseball and softball players in areas such as Texas and California.
The complex is scheduled to open in 2014, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the movie. Boggs said his role, in addition to being a business partner, will include appearances at clinics once the site opens.
“A whole generation has gone by that enjoyed the film, now we’re introducing to a whole new generation what the ’Field of Dreams’ are,” Boggs said. “You don’t have to dream big, you just have to dream.”
The field, where Shoeless Joe Jackson and others emerged from a cornfield to play baseball for Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, and his family in the 1989 movie, is part of a 193-acre farm that the Stillmans purchased this year.
Go the Distance Baseball Chief Executive Officer Denise Stillman said the original house, barn and field will remain, while the new complex will be located in the cornfields. She expects 1,500 families to use the facility each week.