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Illinois home to its own ‘Field of Dreams’ in Putnam County | Agriculture

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GRANVILLE — The iconic Field of Dreams, a farm was a baseball discipline for the 1989 traditional movie, stays a serious vacationer vacation spot in Dyersville, Iowa.

And the location returned to the nationwide highlight when the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees performed a sport in August at an 8,000-seat facility adjoining to the unique discipline used in the film.

It might be again in the highlight Aug. 12, when the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are scheduled to play there.

But do you know there’s an Illinois Dream Field, acknowledged by the official “Field of Dreams” film website, situated about 175 miles southeast of Dyersville close to the Putnam County group of Granville, only a stone’s throw from Interstate 80 alongside the Illinois River?

The inspiration for that discipline is all a few farmer’s ardour for baseball and help of group occasions he handed down to his household that ultimately led to the development of the Illinois Dream Field.

The Illinois website hosted fundraising occasions from 2014-17 that featured actors who appeared as “ghost players” in the film, an adaptation of W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe.”

The real-life model of the sphere in Illinois was a dream come true for Darrell Alleman, who shared his love for baseball along with his highschool sweetheart, Jeanne. The two married, operated a crop and livestock farm and raised a household in close by Magnolia.

“It all started when he was young,” mentioned daughter Deb Kimme. “He always loved the game of baseball but didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play growing up on the farm.”

So Darrell grew to become the scorekeeper for his highschool workforce and went on to coach Little League, serving as president of the Bi-County League for about 20 years and as president of the Connie Mack summer time league.

He additionally served in many roles in help of Putnam County High School baseball, the place his sons, Scott and Kim, starred and every performed on state match groups.

“He was very involved in all aspects,” Scott mentioned.

“Our community really benefited from dad’s love of baseball and his organizational skills,” Deb mentioned. “He always thought bigger. If you could have one game, then you could have 10 games.”

Over the years, Darrell collected gear and components of services used at baseball fields, together with an outdated concession stand and foul poles from the highschool discipline.

“When Dad was Little League president, they got a new backstop, so the old backstop came to our house and was stored behind a barn because he always wanted to build his own field,” Deb mentioned.

Deb, Scott, Kim and their sister, Jan Chance, then gave their dad an official set of bases as a present.

And when Darrell and Jeanne moved to their Granville farm, the dream lastly grew to become actuality — building on the sphere started in 2009.

“He just had an idea in his head and it just grew,” Scott mentioned of his father. “He just made it happen.”

The Allemans constructed the sphere shut to their home so they may sit on the porch and watch video games. The first sport was held there on Father’s Day 2010.

But there was extra to the story by means of a twist of destiny throughout one of the Allemans’ visits to the unique website in Iowa.

“They were just sitting there on the bleachers and struck up a conversation with Frank Dardis. He was one of the original ghost players,” Deb mentioned. “They struck up an instant friendship and bond over baseball.”

Upon returning to the farm, Alleman was impressed to host his own sport. He planted corn and invited Dardis to go to.

“He thought one ghost player was going to come, but to Mom and Dad’s surprise, Frank showed up with seven other ghost players,” Deb mentioned. “They would go around and do events and fundraisers.”

The Allemans, by means of Granville Rotary, went on to host communitywide baseball fundraising occasions, full with a displaying of the movie.

“They presented dad with a uniform in 2015 and he became an honorary ghost player,” Deb mentioned. “That was the first time he ever got to wear a baseball uniform. He was very proud of that.”

Jeanne Alleman died in 2015 and Darrell handed just a few years later in 2018.

The discipline stays in place at present and nonetheless hosts some follow video games. Scott’s oldest son, Doug, purchased the property.

This story was distributed by means of a cooperative

challenge between Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Press Association. For extra meals and farming information, go to

FarmWeekNow.com.