By Matt Wiley
They’re going to build it, so hopefully they will come. Fans of the classic 1989 baseball movie probably remember the most famous line from “Field of Dreams.” The farm that was featured in the movie has recently been sold to a group of investors for development and among them is longtime Tampa Palms resident Wade Boggs.
According to numerous published reports, the iconic 193-acre farm in Dyersville, IA, which features a baseball diamond surrounded by cornfields, has been sold for $3.4 million to Chicago-based Go the Distance Baseball, LLC, a group of investors that hopes to develop the site into what will be called “All-Star Ballpark Heaven,” a youth baseball and softball sports complex that will one day be home to 24 fields, 60 team clubhouses and an indoor baseball and softball training facility.
Of the investors involved, the only name that has surfaced is Boggs, the Hall of Fame third baseman who finished his career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now just the Rays), who could not be reached for a comment.
“All-Star Ballpark Heaven’s mission is to be America’s premier venue for fun, family memories surrounding seasonal baseball and softball tournaments,” said Denise Stillman, the CEO of All-Star Ballpark Heaven, in a press release.
According to reports, the famous diamond and farmhouse from the movie will remain as they appeared in the film, although the surroundings will be sure to change quite a bit. The deal closed on December 28 and the first phase of construction of 12 fields and all 60 clubhouses is expected to be completed by 2014.
Boggs, now 54, who played for both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, finished his amazing 18-year MLB career with Tampa Bay in 1999. Although not known for his power, he hit the first-ever home run for the Rays during the team’s inaugural game and his 3000th hit, a major career milestone, also was a home run, making him the first of the 28 3,000-hit-club members who went long for his 3,000th hit (New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is now the second player to accomplish that feat).