If you’ve ever longed to smack a baseball into the green cornfield on the famed northeast Iowa diamond where the movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed, this weekend is your golden chance.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Iowa is holding a first-of-its-kind fundraiser in Dyersville today on the familiar farm where hundreds of visitors make a pilgrimage every year. “You hear the famous line, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ we’re hoping we’ve done just that with the Iron Horse Classic,” says Derek Harrigan, a spokesman for the MDA of Iowa.

The inaugural event is a benefit for the charity and a Field of Dreams-come-true for fans of the 1989 film. “It’s going to be a homerun derby event,” Harrigan says. “You’ve seen Kevin Costner out on the field playing catch with his dad. You have the opportunity now to take some cuts and put some balls out in the corn.”

There will be a host of age divisions and an adaptive hitting division for special needs participants. “Ghost Players” will be offering coaching tips to the young hitters. Harrigan says all money raised will stay local to support MDA families fighting muscular dystrophy.

“It’s such an exciting time,” he says. “We’ve seen six treatments for neuromuscular disease being passed by the FDA, that’s more than in the last 50 years. These research dollars are going to a place where we’re funding the best science.”

Registration for the event opens at 9 A.M. Saturday with the pitching beginning at 10 A.M. Sign up online at: www2.mda.org/ironhorseclassic

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)