WRITTEN BY: DARIN KAIN
What happens when an iconic baseball field, like the one used in the movie Field of Dreams, is damaged due to vandalism? You help rebuild it of course.
In the Sports Turf industry, if your neighbor needs help, you help. That’s exactly what happened on Monday April 16th 2018 when staff, owners, and representatives from several area teams and businesses spent a cold and windy day repairing the damage caused at the site cherished by baseball, softball, and movie fans alike.
In the early morning hours of January 23rd 2018, a 20-year-old man drove his truck onto the field located outside of Dyersville, Iowa during unseasonably wet and soft conditions. Damaged with tire ruts were the infield grass, infield skin, base paths, outfield grass, and pitching mound. Also possibly damaged was the irrigation system, although that is yet to be determined–it will be examined more thoroughly when weather permits.
Once the Minor League Baseball office in Florida got wind of the damage they decided to organize their local affiliates: the Iowa Cubs, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton Lumberkings and Quad City River Bandits to donate their time and expertise to help with repairs. Also joining the voluntary and professional work force were DuraEdge Territory Manager and Agronomist Darin Kain, members of Bush Turf, Iowa Cubs Sports Turf, local volunteers and area high school and college players. In all there were in excess of 50 people diligently and carefully braving the inclement conditions to bring the field back to life.
The LumberKings, led by our Head Groundskeeper Reid Olson, are proud to have partnered with a lot of our friends in professional Baseball and more to have helped restore the Field of Dreams Movie Site today after it was vandalized this off-season! A little snow is no issue! pic.twitter.com/VEYJ714utR
— Clinton LumberKings (@LumberKings) April 16, 2018
— Andrew Marking (@MarkoftheKing25) April 16, 2018
— Bush Turf (@BushTurf) April 17, 2018
Today we had the opportunity to work with other sports turf professionals and local volunteers to repair the off-season vandalism at the iconic Field of Dreams movie site. pic.twitter.com/GMEjhWWNrl
— Iowa Cubs Sports Turf (@IowaCubsTurf) April 16, 2018
By nightfall, the infield grass had been cut out, replaced with backfill soil, and sodded. Bases were reset, the pitcher’s mound and home plate had been rebuilt with DuraEdge Classic infield mix and DuraPitch Premium mound clay donated by DuraEdge, and measurements were taken to make sure all improvements were done to field specifications.
Nice to provide DuraPitch mound clay and assist in damage repair at Field of Dreams site. Iconic place for baseball fans and movie buffs. Glad to join @BushTurf , @IowaCubsTurf , @MarkoftheKing25 , @MNgroundsman , @DuraEdge pic.twitter.com/sIWOOAokJZ
— Darin Kain (@DarinKain) April 16, 2018
Next to be completed at a later date will be infield skin laser grading, irrigation inspection, and repair (if needed), as well as filling in of ruts in the outfield grass.
Everybody who contributed to this project felt it a duty and opportunity to be involved with the restoration of such an iconic location beloved by so many.
As one volunteer stated; “It’s an honor and privilege to be able to participate in a project such as this, anybody who loves baseball and the game has some kind of feelings for Field of Dreams. I remember watching it as a younger man and it feels very special to be here and rebuild it so more people can continue to come.”
If you “re”build it, they will come. Eased its pain. Went the distance.
For more coverage of this story:
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) April 16, 2018
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) April 17, 2018
— KWWL (@KWWL) April 16, 2018
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 17, 2018
— KSFY News (@ksfynews) April 17, 2018