History of The Field of Dreams and The Ghost Players

Chronological Timeline

1988
1988- June 9The filming of the Field of Dreams began.
1988- July 13A memo was printed asking for 1500 volunteer drivers/cars from the tri-state area to participate in “The Last Shot” of the film, Shoeless Joe.
1988- August 3More than 2,400 area residents met at Commercial Club Park in preparation for the filming of “The Last Shot.”
1988- August 16The filming of the movie was completed after 68 days.
1989
1989- April 20Field Of Dreams made its world premiere debut in Dubuque, Iowa.
1989- May 5The first known visitor arrived at the Field of Dreams according to Don Lansing.
1990
1990- SummerLocal baseball players formed a team called “Ghost Players” who perform for visitors on Sunday afternoons.
1990- Sept.Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991
1991Ghost Players traveled to Ryan, Iowa for their first event outside Dyersville.
1991Ghost Players emerged from the corn and surprised a “Mystery Bus” tour. The tour consisted of 238 people from Michigan that were on a three day mystery tour of the Midwest. Ghost Players attending: Keith Rahe, Marv Maiers, Jeff Naderman, Dale Digmann Jr., Charlie Huberty, Terry Kelleher, Dan Kennedy, Mike Hodge, and Jude Milbert.
1991- July 3Ghost Players played in an exhibition game at Commercial Club Park against the Field of Dreams Actors.
1991- August 11Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991- August 20Ghost Players appeared out of the corn, played catch, practiced, and socialized with a group of high school all-stars from Yamanashi, Japan. The Japanese all-star team would later play the Western Dubuque County Legion team.
1991- August 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991- Sept. 2A team of former Major League stars played the Upper Deck All-Stars in the first competitive game ever played on the Field of Dreams. The former Major League players included: Curt Flood, Joe Hoerner, Joe Pepitone, Jimmy Piersall, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Randy Hundley, Jose Cardenal, Gene Oliver, Jay Johnstone, Lou Brock, and Reggie Jackson. Also playing were stars such as: Richard Dean Anderson, Wil Shriner, Tony Loyacono, Tom Dressen, Rod Dedeaux, BoJesse Christopher, Larry Drake, Adrian Zmed, Chuck Hoyes, Steve Easton, Gerard Christopher, Clarence Gilyard, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Jason Preistley, Jason Hervey, Missy Hyatt, D B Sweeney, and Kelsey Grammer.
1991- Sept. 8Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991- Sept. 12Ghost Players traveled to Des Moines to play a team that impersonated the 1927 Yankees. Prior to the game, the Ghost Players pitched to children in the stands. Ghost Players won the game 3-0.
1991- Sept. 15Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991- Sept. 22Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1991Musco Lighting and Wheaties each filmed commercials at the Field of Dreams.
1992
1992- May 31Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1992- JuneGhost Players participated in the Peoria parade in Illinois.
1992- JuneGhost Players traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a performance.
1992- JulyGhost Players participated in a celebrity game in Algona, Iowa.
1992- JulyGhost Players traveled to Pipestone, Minnesota for a performance.
1992Ghost Players traveled to and performed at the Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa.
1992- Sept. 6Ghost Players performed for the fans prior to the Upper Deck Field of Dreams charity game. There were over 2,000 fans in attendance at the Field of Dreams.
1992-Sept. 7Ghost Players participated in the Upper Deck weekend with former MLB players: Jay Johnstone, Bobby Randall, Joe Pepitone, Bob Gibson, Jerry McNertney, Jose Cardenal, Vida Blue, John Saunders, Fergie Jenkins, Joe Hoerner, Randy Hundley, Joe Rudi, Dave Kingman, and Reggie Jackson; as well as celebrities: Corin Nemec, Abraham Bennrubi, Kelsey Grammer, Candace Cameron, Jonathan Silverman, Christopher Castile, Steve Easton, Dwier Brown, Chuck Hoyes, Bobby Kelton, Garrett Morris, Mark DeCarlo, Bruce Boxleitner, Tony Granato, BoJesse Christopher, Dana Ashbrook, Rhonda Shear, Bobby Hansen, Jim Nussle, Terry Branstad, and Meatloaf.
1992- Sept. 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1992SportsCenter filmed a commercial at the Field of Dreams.
1993
1993Dennis Rima joined the players as “Coach.”
1993Ghost Players traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to perform at a charity event in connection with Sprint. They played against a team of former Royals.
1993- June Ghost Players conducted their first youth baseball clinic in Dyersville, Iowa.
1993- June 25Ghost Players conducted a youth baseball clinic in Bruce, Mississippi, Shoeless Joe’s old hometown. They had tours by Larry Stewart and his cousin Barry.
1993- June 27Ghost Players played against former major leaguers, Ole Miss lettermen, and Oxford celebrities in Oxford, Mississippi. At that time Don Kessinger, a former Chicago Cubs short stop, was the head coach of Mississippi University where they played. Glen Becker, Paul Popovich, and Darrell Porter were also there.
1994
1994- FebruaryGhost Players performed at the Steve Palermo Event in Kansas City, Missouri.
1994Ghost Players traveled to Windom, Minnesota for a celebrity baseball game.
1994- June 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1994- July Ghost Players performed in Walker, Iowa.
1994- July 9The Ghost Players traveled to Chisholm, Minnesota to play against the Pergol All-Star softball team. The 1994 slo-pitch game which was taped was on July 9. There are some pictures in the July 5 and 12 issues.
1994There was a great write-up in the Mesabi Daily News.
1994- July 31Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1994- August 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1994- Sept. 4Field of Dreams Festival ran by the Ghost Players- former Major League players included: Lou Brock, Lou Brock Jr. , Ferguson Jenkins, Tony Oliva, Curt Flood, Maury Wills, Darrell Porter, Mike Boddicker, Jay Johnstone, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Gary Bell, Bill “Moose” Skowron, Steve Trout, Joe Hoerner, Julio Becquer, Sandy Alomar, Bruce Klostermann, Jay Johnstone, Tom Paciorek, Dayton Jones, Mike Haight, Bobby Randall, Ken Holtzman, Cal Eldred, and Gary Matthews.
1994- Sept.Ghost Players traveled to Orlando, Florida for a corporate event. The employees of Searle Pharmaceutical had a home run hitting contest.
1994- Sept. 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1994- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
1995
1995- FebruaryGhost Players performed at the Steve Palermo Event in Kansas City, Missouri.
1995- June 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1995Ghost Players performed at a Law Enforcement Event in Blue Springs, Missouri.
1995- July 15The 1995 Chisholm game was on July 15 with articles on the 11, 13, 18, 20 and a team picture with Mike Kalibabky in the July 25 paper.
1995- JulyGhost Players performed in Walker, Iowa.
1995- July 23Ghost Players used Ghost Sunday as a platform to help raise money for the Iowa Special Olympics. They incorporated many Special Olympians into their performance. The Ghost Players also played against Confederate Railroad, a country band, in an exposition game.
1995Ghost Players traveled around the Midwest playing in different celebrity games and doing youth clinics. They also visited hospitals and orphanages.
1995Ghost Players hosted a corporate event for Pepsico in Dallas, Texas.
1995- AugustGhost Players played a game against the Coors Silver Bullets, a women’s professional baseball team, in Kane County, Illinois. The next day they traveled to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to participate in the air show.
1995- August 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1995- AugustGhost Players performed at the Minnesota State Fair.
1995- Sept. 3Field of Dreams Festival. The Ghost players participated in a Celebrity Baseball Game. The Ghost Players were matched up against a group of former Major League greats. The former Major League greats include: George Brett, Rollie Fingers, Lou Brock, Earl Weaver, Buck O’Neil, Bert Campaneris, Jimmy Wynn, Paul Blair, Don Money, Jim Gantner, Mike Cuellar, Jay Johnstone, Julio Cruz, Gorman Thomas, Kenny Sanders, Joe Hoerner, Bobby Randall, Jerry McNertney, Brooks Robinson, and Maury Wills.
1995- Sept. 24Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1995- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
1996
1996- FebruaryGhost Players performed at the Steve Palermo Event in Kansas City, Missouri.
1996- May 11-27Ghost Players take first trip abroad as they travel to Japan. They played baseball games and put on comedy routines. They traveled to Tokyo, Hiroshima, Fukoaka, Kagoshima, Kumumoto, Fukue and Nagasaki. They went to the Japanese Field of Dreams made by Mr. Hori on a rice paddy outside Hiroshima. They played at a military base in Sasebo in Kyushu. They also stayed with host families on Goto Island. Ghost Players attending: Marv Maiers, Steve Olberding, Ben Thier, Jude Milbert, Dan Kennedy, Terry Keheller, Mike Ehlers, Dennis Rima, John Scherrman, Paul Scherrman, Tony Scherrman, Frank Dardis, Dale Digmann Jr., Scott Olberding, Jim Offerman, Hank Lucas, Doug Westemeier, Al Steffen, Bob McCabe, and Dan Davis. Others include: Mary Davis, Al & Gloria Vigil, Dave Busch, Bill Rediger, Joe Scherrman, Keith Rahe, and Tim Crescenti.
1996- June 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1996- July 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1996- August 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1996- August 30-Sept. 1 Field of Dreams Festival. * Hall of Famers were there, including: George Brett, Rollie Fingers, Maury Wills, Earl Weaver, Lou Brock, Ferguson Jenkins, Brooks Robinson, and Steve Gravy. The former pro won 8 to 7 in the last inning when George Brett hit a home run bringing in Steve Gravy and Lou Brock.
1996- Sept. 7W.P. Kinsella, author of the book “Shoeless Joe” spoke at the Field of Dreams and read pieces from his works. Following the readings, the Ghost Players appeared from the corn and talked about what they had done since the movie.
1996- Sept. 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1996- OctoberGhost Players traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for the retirement party of Ozzie Smith.
1996- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
Ghost Players attending: Marv Maiers, Jim Offerman, Steve Olberding, Jude Milbert, Jeff Naderman, Keith Rahe, Mike Ehlers, Dennis Rima, John Rotz, Rob Ritchie, Dale Digmann Jr., Dave Flattery, Frank Dardis, and Doug Westemeier.
1997
1997- MarchGhost players were invited by Keith Hill to play on the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba.
1997- May 14-27Ghost Players make 2nd trip to Japan to hold youth baseball clinics, perform their comedy routines, and play games against all-stars from each military base. This is the first year that main characters wore portable microphones to include the audience in on the Ghost Player humor. They traveled to Sasebo, MCAS Marine base at Iwakuni, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka, Naval Air Station Atsugi, Kadena Air Base, Camp Zama, and Camp Foster and Camp Shields on the island of Okinawa.
1997- June 8Ghost Players traveled to Fort Hood, Texas for a performance.
1997- June 21Field of Dreams night at Comisky park in Chicago, Illinois. Ghost Players held a youth clinic. Following the game, the Ghost Players appeared through the smog in center field while music from the movie played and fireworks went off.
1997- June 22Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1997- July 20Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1997- August 24Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1997- Sept. 21Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1997- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
1998
1998- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
1998A group of Ghost Players participated in the Midwest League All-Star Game in Clinton, Iowa
1998Ghost Players went to Chicago, Illinois to play Michael Bolton’s all-star team of former Bears and Cubs players.
1998Ghost Players traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa to perform.
1998Ghost Players performed at Holy Cross Days.
1998- JuneA group of 16 Ghost Players with their wives went on a tour of military bases around Europe for 21 days. They were invited by Keith Hill who was station in Rota, Spain. The players traveled to London; Lake and Heath air base in England; Rota, Spain; Sigonella, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Gita, Italy; Aviano, Italy; and Ramstein, Germany.
1998- JuneGhost Players traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa for a Ghost Player Event.
1998- June 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1998- JulyGhost Players held a Fantasy Baseball Camp with the Cedar Rapid Kernels.
1998- JulyGhost Players traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a performance at the Chicago White Sox.
1998- July 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1998- August 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1998- Sept. 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1998- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri the Salvation Army.
1999
1999Ghost Players took a 2nd trip to Europe to perform at the military bases. They started in Rota, Spain and then went to Sigonella; Aviano; Athens, Greece; Souda Bay, Crete; Incirlik, Turkey; Istanbul; Adona, Turkey; and Spangdahlem, Grafenwoehr, and Schweinfurt in Germany.
1999- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
1999- June 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1999Universal Studios came to the Field of Dreams to shoot footage for their 10th anniversary of the release of the Field of Dreams movie.
1999Ghost Players traveled to Ottawa, Ohio to play against their American Legion team. They repeat the trip in 2000 and 2001.
1999 to 2005Ghost Players traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to play celebrity game with former Royals. The event is hosted by Roger Strickland, a contractor who built a replica of the Field of Dreams on his tobacco farm.
1999- July 4A celebrity game is held at Commercial Club Park in Dyersville for the 10th anniversary of the release of the Field of Dreams movie. The ghost players play a team of celebrities, former pros, and Iowa celebrities. Those included are Bob Feller, Bill Bradley, Fred Hoiberg, and Jess Settles.
1999- July 5Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1999- July Ghost Players traveled to Springfield, Illinois for a performance.
1999- July Ghost Players performed in Chicago at the Chicago White Sox.
1999- July 25Ghost Players performed in front of many fans at the Field of Dreams.
1999- August 2 Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1999- Sept. 26Ghost players performed at the Field of Dreams.
1999- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
2000
2000Ghost Players traveled to Washington state and Oregon to play celebrity games.
2000- May Ghost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2000- June 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2000- July Ghost Players traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a performance at the Chicago White Sox.
2000- July 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2000- August 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2000- Sept. 24Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2000- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
2001
2001Keith Rahe said this was the busiest year of the Ghost players.
2001May- Ghost Players took their last overseas trip. They take there wives and travel military bases in the Pacific and in Asia. They go to Hawaii, Barking Sands, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Johnston Island, Kalagen Island, Guam, Japan, Yokosuka, Yokota, Atsuji, Camp Zama, and Sasebo. They spend 3-4 days in Okinawa during a monsoon and play at Kadena, Camp Foster, and Camp Shields. They also go to South Korea and play in Seoul, Camp Red Cloud on the DMZ, Pusan, and Osan. The trip lasted 7 weeks.
2001- MayGhost Players perform at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2001- June 24Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2001- JulyGhost Players performed at the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Illinois.
2001- July 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2001- August 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2001-Sept. 119-11 hit and the Ghost Players will not take another overseas trip because it is too hard to visit military bases.
2001- Sept. 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2001- DecemberGhost Players performed in Kansas City, Missouri for the Salvation Army.
2002
2002Ghost Players traveled to Florida and Georgia to play on military bases. They traveled to Key West, Mayport, Jacksonville, NAS, and Kings Bay.
2002Ghost Players traveled to Carolina and Sugar Grove, WV to perform.
2002- FebruaryGhost Players performed at the Steve Palermo Event in Kansas City, MO.
2002- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2002- June 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2002- JulyGhost Players performed in Carlisle, Iowa.
2002- JulyGhost Players performed in Springfield, Illinois.
2002- JulyGhost Players performed in Chicago, Illinois at the Chicago White Sox.
2002- July 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2002- August 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2002- Sept. 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2003
2003- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2003Dreams for Tomorrow Event held at the Dubuque Sports Complex.
2003- June 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2003- JulyGhost Players performed in Carlisle, Iowa.
2003- JulyGhost Players traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a performance at the Chicago White Sox.
2003- July 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2003- August 31Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2003- Sept. 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2004
2004Ghost Player traveled to Galena, Illinois to perform at the Tri-State Christian School.
2004- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2004- JuneGhost Players traveled to Winthrop, Iowa for a performance.
2004- JuneGhost Players performed in West Union, Iowa.
2004- JuneGhost Players performed at the La Crosse Loggers in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
2004- June 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2004Ghost Players performed for the Governor of Iowa.
2004- July 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2004- AugustGhost Players performed in Manchester, Iowa.
2004- August 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2004- Sept. 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2004Most traveling stopped.
2005
2005- JanuaryGhost Players performed for the Negro League Hall of Fame.
2005- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2005- June 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2005Ghost Players worked with ESPN for the 50 states in 50 days.
2005Dreams for Tomorrow Event held at the Dubuque Sports Complex by the Ghost Players.
2005- July 31Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2005- AugustGhost Players performed in Manchester, Iowa.
2005- AugustGhost Players traveled to Eagle Grove, Wisconsin for a performance.
2005- AugustGhost Players traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for the Governor’s Convention.
2005- August 28Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2005- Sept. 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2006
2006- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2006The Ghost Players performed in Anamosa, Iowa.
2006- June 25Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2006- July 30Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2006- August 11Actor Kevin Costner returned to the Field of Dreams for the first time since the filming of the movie. Costner played catch on the field before performing with his band for approximately 6,000 fans. A screening of the movie was shown on an inflatable big screen following the concert. The event was sponsored by NetFlix and promoted by Lisa Loeb.
2006- August 27Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2006- Sept. 24Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2007
2007- MayGhost Players performed at the Western Dubuque Grade School picnic at Camp Little Cloud in Epworth, Iowa.
2007- June 24Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2007- July 29Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2007- August 17Don and Becky Lansing purchased the left and center field portions of the field from Rita Ameskamp.
2007- August 26Ghost Players performed at the Field of Dreams.
2007- Sept. 30Ghost Players perform for the final time at the Field of Dreams.
2009
2009 - April 22Over 140 people screen the fine-cut of the documentary "Ghost Player".
2009 - May 1Chisholm, Minnesota screening of the documentary "Ghost Player".
2009 - July 151st broadcast of GHOST PLAYER on Iowa Public Television--4 showings that week.
2009 - July 19Patriot Night at the Ballpark: Ghost Players reunite for a game against the Military All-Stars in Dyersville, and a showing of the documentary "Ghost Player" on the baseball diamond.
2009 - July 25Book Signing at Iowa Welcome Center, Dubuque IA.
2009 - September 1Las Vegas, NV screening of GHOST PLAYER at BrandSource Convention.
2009 - September 26Naperville Independent Film Festival-finalist in the best documentary category.
2009 - October 4Cooperstown National Baseball Hall of Fame Baseball Film Festival--Attended by Ghost Players Hank (Ron) Lucas, Curtis Mac and Joe Scherrman. Finalist for best documentary category. Rob Edelman, SABR writer and contributor to TRAVELS WITH GHOSTS AND OTHER TALES, was also on hand.
2009 - November 7Wild Rose Independent Film Festival-winner of two awards Best of Iowa Films and Certificate of Distinction in Documentary Filmmaking, finalist in best editing and best feature categories.
2009 - November 29Rebroadcast of GHOST PLAYER on Iowa Public Television.
2009 - December 17Radio Interview featuring Ghost Player Coach Denis Rima 99.3 KDST.

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