The Dyersville area is getting a lot of national attention for tonight’s Major League baseball game, but Dyersville’s mayor James Heavens says the impact it has had on the state is a good thing.
“I’m very impressed and very amazed that the people of Iowa — because I get around quite a bit in my business — are very aware of this game and I think they are very proud it as Iowans that it’s happening. It happens to be in Dyersville — but it is kind of an Iowa strong, Iowa cornfield type of thing,” Heavens says.
He says he’s found that to be the case everywhere he goes in the state. “When they find out I am from Dyersville — not even knowing I am the mayor — they’ll comment, ‘Oh you got the big game up there, we’ll be watching that.’ That kind of warms your heart,” he says.
Heavens has been mayor in two different stints totaling 14 years. He says the movie site is something unique.
“You know when you go out to the Field of Dreams it’s like everybody’s barriers around them drop. I mean you can go up to somebody and say ‘Hey where are you from,’…and they say we really like Dyersville. And they’ll tell you their whole life story, it’s like all of their defenses drop when they are out there and it’s like one big neighborhood almost,” Heavens says.
Heavens says it is good to see the movie site back in the national spotlight, which he said had kind of dropped off until new owners took over with improvement plans. “For many years the Field of Dreams was kind of just there,” according to Heavens, “it wasn’t a big economic engine for the city or the county. But it did attract 60-thousand visitors per year,” he says. Heavens will watch the game on TV outside with others.
“They offered a couple of tickets to the mayor and the city council and I elected to not take one because there’s a lot of people who really, really wanted to go to that game. And if they can take my seat — so much the better,” Heavens says. Heavens says they’ve spruced up the city and filled what few potholes they have to prepare for all the visitors — but they don’t have to worry about much else.
“This is Major League Baseball’s party here, and we want to help them host that as best as we can — and I think we do a good job of that. You know we have a toy show here in the fall, we like company and we like people to come and see us,” Heavens says. Heavens hopes MLB will continue holding games at the Field of Dreams movie site and he would especially be interested in seeing one between the Cubs and Cardinals.