Illinois home to its own ‘Field of Dreams’ in Putnam County – Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette


GRANVILLE — The prolonged-lasting Area of Goals, a farm Turned a baseball field for the 1989 basic film, reprimarys A critical vacationer vacation spot in Dyersville, Iowa.

And The state of affairs returned to the nationwide spotlight when the Chicago White Sox and Ny Yankees performed a recreation in August at an 8,000-seat facility adjoining to The distinctive field used Inside the film.

It is going to be again Inside the spotlight Aug. 12, when the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are scheduled to play there.

However Do You understand there’s an Illinois Dream Area, acknowledged by the official “Area of Goals” film website, located about 175 miles southeast of Dyersville shut to the Putnam County group of Granville, Solely a stone’s throw from Interstate 80 aprolongedside the Illinois River?

The inspiration for that field is all A few farmer’s ardour for baseball and assist of group events he handed Proper dpersonal to his househprevious that finally led to The enchancment of the Illinois Dream Area.

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

The exact-life mannequin of The sector in Illinois was a dream come true for Darrell Alleman, who shared his love for baseball Collectively with his Extremeschool sweetheart, Jeanne. The two married, operated a crop and livestock farm and raised a househprevious in shut toby Magnolia.

“It started when he was youthful,” said daughter Deb Kimme. “He On A daily basis liked The sport of baseball but didn’t have A lot of alternatives to play rising up on the farm.”

So Darrell beacquired here the scorekeeper for his Extremeschool group and went on To tevery 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 lots of roles in assist of Putnam County Extreme School baseball, the place his sons, Scott and Kim, starred And every performed on state event groups.

“He was very involved in all elements,” Scott said.

“Our group exactly benefited from dad’s love of baseball and his organizational expertise,” Deb said. “He On A daily basis thought greater. Do You’d like to can have one recreation, Then you undoubtedly can have 10 video recreations.”

By way of the years, Darrell collected gear and parts of amenities used at baseball fields, together with an previous concession stand and foul poles from The highschool field.

“When Dad was Little League president, they acquired A mannequin new againstop, so the previous againstop acquired here to our house and was saved behind a barn as a Outcome of he On A daily basis needed To assemble his personal field,” Deb said.

Deb, Scott, Kim and their sister, Jan Probability, then gave their dad an official set of bases as A current.

And when Darrell and Jeanne moved to their Granville farm, the dream lastly beacquired here actuality — enchancment on The sector started in 2009.

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

The Allemans assembleed The sector Near their house So as that they might sit on the porch and watch video recreations. The primary recreation was held there on Father’s Day 2010.

However there was extra to the story through a Coincidence all through Definitely one of many Allemans’ go tos to The distinctive website in Iowa.

“They have been simply sitting there on the bleveryers and struck up a dialog with Frank Dardis. He was Definitely one of many unique ghost recreationrs,” Deb said. “They struck up an immediate friendship and bond over baseball.”

Upon returning to the farm, Alleman was impressed to host his personal recreation. He planted corn and invited Dardis To go to.

“He thought one ghost participant was going To return, but to Mom And pop’s shock, Frank confirmed up with seven fullly different ghost recreationrs,” Deb said. “They might go round and do events and fundraisers.”

The Allemans, through Granville Rotary, went on to host groupwide baseball fundraising events, full with a displaying of the film.

“They launched dad with a uniform in 2015 and he beacquired here an honorary ghost participant,” Deb said. “That was the first time he ever acquired to put on a baseball uniform. He was very Joyful with that.”

Jeanne Alleman died in 2015 and Darrell handed A pair of years later in 2018.

The field reprimarys in place right now and nonetheless hosts some apply video recreations. Scott’s previousest son, Doug, purchased the property.

This story was distributed through a cooperative

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


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