If You Build It They Will Come, Again

Actor Kevin Costner, the star of the movie Field of Dreams, gets his picture taken on his way up to the stage at a 2006 Netflix Rolling Roadshow stop in Dyersville, Iowa, Friday, Aug. 11, 2006. This is the fifth stop on the 10 city national tour of 10 classic Hollywood movies at the original locations they helped make famous. The visit was Costner's first time back to Dyersville since the movie. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)
AP Photo
The corn lining the outfield is tall again this year. The iconic white farmhouse, with its wraparound porch and picket fence appear unaffected by time. The mythic baseball diamond and lush outfield looks just like it did in the movie made 17 years ago.

And for a couple hours Friday evening, hundreds of children and parents raced around the bases, played catch or hit soft pitches all over the field made so famous in the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams."

For 10-year-old Alexis Turner, the visit included a brush with Kevin Costner, the film's star who returned Friday for the first time since filming concluded here.

Costner joined about 5,000 people who packed the field for a free screening of the movie. The event, sponsored by the online movie rental company Netflix, is the fifth stop in a 10-city tour featuring classic movies at the locations that helped make them special.

"My dad pointed him out to me. I didn't even know I was standing next to him," said Turner of Goshen, Ind., who fielded balls while Costner tossed pitches to one young hitter after another.

"He told me to 'step back honey,' ... when one, a bigger hitter, came to bat," said Turner, in the middle of touring several major league ballparks with her father. "This is easily my most favorite part of the trip."

The movie, about a farmer who becomes convinced by a mysterious voice to build a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield, is based on the Ray Kinsella novel "Shoeless Joe."

But the story transcends the seemingly crazy notions of an Iowa farmer, touching on the power of dreams, American ideals and personal healing, redemption and relationships.

"I was only 14 when the movie came out, and it was immediately one of my favorites and still is," said Jennifer Lukenbill, who drove her husband and children eight hours from their home in Nevada, Mo., to see Costner and the movie.

"I can't watch it even today without feeling the way I did the first time. It was the first time I saw my dad cry — and the last time," she said.

Filmed in 1988, the movie turned a plot of land owned by two local farmers into a mythic site still visited by more than 65,000 people each year.