Gael baseball team will play Clarion-Goldfield/Dows at Field of Dreams

This summer will feature a special trip for the St. Edmond and Clarion-Goldfield/Dows baseball teams.

On Monday, June 12, the Gaels will travel to Dyersville and the site of hit film “Field of Dreams” to face the North Central Conference rival Cowboys.

Go the Distance Baseball, which has taken over the ballpark famous for the blockbuster movie featuring Kevin Costner, has expanded the area to include more baseball fields, team dorms, a hotel and more between now and 2025, with projects being completed in different phases.

Most of that work will still be on-going this summer, though, so the Gaels and Cowboys are expected to play on the same field as the movie.

“It’s just going to be a fun experience for everyone involved,” SEHS head coach Mike Szalat said. “I have to give all the credit to (Clarion-Goldfield/Dows head coach) Ryan (Nail) because he has been doing the work in and putting it together.

“He called me up and asked if we wanted to play in June in Dyersville. I talked with (St. Edmond athletic director) David (Flattery) about it and we worked out the details on our end.”

Szalat received official word on Wednesday.

“We got together over lunch and I told them we wouldn’t be playing at Rogers Park that day,” Szalat said. “Instead, I pulled up Google Earth with a shot of Dyersville and said that is where we would be playing.

“The look on their faces was great to see. Everyone is really excited about it.”

Nail, a Clarion-Goldfield/Dows graduate and former all-state athlete, brought his Cowboy team to Principal Park in Des Moines last year for a game with Bishop Garrigan.

“We are very excited for this event, and I am thrilled that my players get the opportunity to experience the Field of Dreams,” Nail said. “My goal is to provide opportunities for our players to make memories with their teammates and their families.

“Last year we had a game at Principal Park, and this year, we are thrilled to put Dyersville on the schedule. Coach Szalat shared his excitement with me and I think this will be something special for both teams. Summer can’t come soon enough.”

The two teams will rent the field for four hours, with the varsity contest to start at 7 p.m. They will play junior varsity after for as much time as remains.

“We’re going to get everybody in that is healthy,” Szalat said. “We’re going to make a complete day out of it. We still have things to work out, but we’re going to make it fun, enjoyable and memorable.”

Frank Thomas, a former MLB standout and member of the Hall of Fame, is the CEO for the group.

Two MLB games have been held in the past two years at the location on the bigger, newer field, with the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox playing in 2020 and the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs meeting this past summer.

With the expansion of the complex, there are no plans for MLB to return this coming year.


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