Local businesses create new, specialty items to sell for Field of Dreams MLB game

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — As Major League Baseball fans put the finishing touches on their travel plans to the Dyersville area, businesses are getting ready to sell specialty items for the festivities.

Businesses around Dubuque County will be selling products created for the MLB game at the Field of Dreams. The Chicago Cubs will play the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 11, and a minor league baseball game between the Quad City River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels will take place two days earlier.

“I think everybody is looking forward to visitors,” said Jennifer Recker, owner of J&R Fashions and Haberdash Outfitters Co. in Dyersville “Tourists really love our town, and we love meeting people from all over the country.”

Recker’s stores released three custom shirts for the game. In addition to selling the pieces in the stores, she will be selling them during Fan Fest, a Beyond the Game event taking place Aug. 10 and 11.

One shirt features a silhouette of a baseball player hitting a ball into a cornfield with the phrase, “They will come.” Another shirt is simpler, Recker said, with a baseball field, baseball and the date of the Cubs-Reds game. The third shirt features the iconic “Field of Dreams” movie phrase: “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.”

In addition to the stores, Recker also owns a property on First Avenue East in downtown Dyersville that she rents as lodging on Airbnb and Vrbo. The side of the building features a mural of the Field of Dreams Ghost Players.

“We had people contacting us right away after the date (of the MLB game) was announced last year,” Recker said of the property. “We were able to book it up for the game right away. And I just got a bunch of requests (on Monday) wanting to be on the waiting list. I have a waiting list of about 36 people right now if for some reason those people cancel last minute.”

Recker added that the property, which she opened in March 2021, also was full for last year’s MLB game.

“It’s really the MLB game last year that really put us on the map as a destination place,” she said. “We’ve been booked out pretty much all of this summer.”

Several area breweries also have special brews related to the MLB game.

Dimensional Brewing Co. made a beer called “Moonlight Graham Slam” with Minnesota-based Back Channel Brewing Co., Dimensional co-founder and brewer Grant Wulf said. The name of the beer stemmed from Archibald “Moonlight” Graham, a baseball player and doctor who is featured in the “Field of Dreams” movie.

The beer will be sold at a Dimensional tent in downtown Dyersville on Aug. 11 and 12, Wulf said. The brewery also will be selling a cotton candy beer and a pickle-flavored beer called “The Biggest Pickle,” a reference to the movie “The Sandlot.”

Wulf said Dimensional will have plastic 20 oz. baseball bat-shaped glasses at its tent.

“We’ve always been very excited to be a part of the community, and I think we do a pretty good job of having a pretty nice platform to celebrate different things in the community,” Wulf said.

Textile Brewing Co. in Dyersville and Dubuque-based 7 Hills Brewing Co. also have Field of Dreams-themed brews.

Robyn Maiers, owner of Just for You in Dyersville, said the business has rolled out custom-designed shirts, sweatshirts and tank tops for the MLB game and has been selling the items online. One design features baseball players standing in a cornfield, and another states: “Come for the fields, stay for the dreams.”

Just for You also is selling custom baseball-themed ornaments, and the business also is working with Kendrick Home in Edgewood, Iowa, to sell custom signs at the Dyersville shop, Maiers said.

Maiers said that for last year’s game, she made the decision to sell game-related shirts closer to the date of the event.

“This year, we made a plan and have done pre-orders,” she said. “We have had a ton of pre-orders, from California out to Ohio and Indiana. A lot of people followed our page from last year and saw them there.”

Russ and Jody Steger, who took over as owners of the Palace Saloon in November, will have special events and dishes for their customers.

Jody Steger said the restaurant will feature live music in the afternoon on Aug. 10 and 12. A portion of the street outside of the restaurant will be closed for the bands.

The restaurant also will feature food and drink specials the week of the game. While the exact menu items have yet to be determined, she said the meals will feature the smoked barbecue items for which the Palace is known.

“We’re just excited to be part of this event,” she said. “We just love seeing people get together and being able to meet new people.”