the project

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The project is the perpetual care of the historical video and audio collection of the Ghost Players, the traveling baseball team—the guys that portrayed the old ball players in the movie, FIELD OF DREAMS.

The goals of the project included: (1) collecting the over 660 hours of known video footage, (2) editing and digitizing all relevant material in order to preserve, make accessible and organize the video, and (3) prepare a documentary video in order to historically present the activities of the Ghost Players baseball team in an entertaining, educational and inspiring manner, (4) locate a host-site for the video archive to make it accessible through the internet.

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Why?

The Ghost Players became ambassadors for Iowa as they traveled the world. Joe Scherrman and DreamCatcher Production have worked diligently to keep the lore of the Ghost Players and the attraction of the Iowa fields alive for scores of their fans--local, national and international.

DreamCatcher Production, LLC has created a digital archive honed from hundreds of Scherrman’s video tapes. These tapes hold a unique historical example of American culture as played out through the Ghost Players. The movie was filmed in 1988 and released in 1989. Soon there after, tourists started fulfilling the movie's prophesy, "If you build it, they will come." The tourists came and while there, on certain Sunday afternoons, they met the Ghost Players. As years went on, the Ghost Players traveled the world, sharing baseball skills and humor. This project is actively preserving a record of their legacy.

Footage of Who/What/Where

Included in the video and physical archive are images of the team, fans and families of the Ghost Players. Locations include the FIELD OF DREAMS movie site, Dyersville Commercial Club Park, Dubuque Sports Complex, as well as baseball fields around the country and world, including the baseball field that was created from a rice field, Japan's very own Dream Field.

The video archive contains footage of major league baseball legends-Joe Hoerner, Randy Hundley, Lou Brock, Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Piersall, Fergie Jenkins, Ozzie Smith, Kirby Puckett, Randy Hundley, Gene Oliver, Jose Cardinale, Jay Johnstone, Joe Rudi, Joe Pepitone, David Kingman, Bobby Randall, Bob Gibson, Vida Blue, Richard McWilliams, Bob Feller, George Brett, Steve Garvey, Catfish Hunter, Bob Sanders, Curt Flood, Rollie Fingers and others.

Also in the archive's footage are Hollywood stars: Kevin Costner, Kelsey Grammer, George Wendt, Jonathan Silverman, Meatloaf, Candice Cameron, Bruce Boxleitner, Dwier Brown, Rhonda Shear, Christopher Castile, Garret Morris, Jason Harvey, Larry Drake, Richard Dean Anderson, Wil Shriner, Tony Loyacono, Tom Dressen, Rod Dedeaux, Bo Jesse Christopher, Adrian Zmed, Chuck Hoyes, Steve Easton, Gerard Christopher, Clarence Gilyard, Brian Austin Green, Ian Ziering, Jason Preistley, Missy Hyatt, and D B Sweeney.

Not to be forgotten are the politicians who are part of the archive too: Paul Scherrman, Jim Nussle, Gov. Chet Culver, Gov. Terry Brandstead, Chuck Grassley, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, Bill Bradley, Tom Hancock, Gov. Tom Vilsack, and John Kerry.

Footage covers games and appearances in various cities in the USA, Europe and in Japan- Tokyo, Hiroshima, Fukoaka, Kagoshima, Kumumoto, Fukue and Nagasaki, Sasebo, Kyushu and Goto Island.

US Miltary bases: Sasebo, MCAS Marine base at Iwakuni; Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka; Naval Air Station Atsugi; Kadena Air Base; Camp Zama; Camp Foster; Camp Shields on the island of Okinawa; Rota, Spain; Lake and Heath air base in England; Sigonella, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Gita, Italy; Aviano, Italy; Aviano; Athens, Greece; Souda Bay, Crete; Incirlik, Turkey; Istanbul; Adona, Turkey; and Spangdahlem, Grafenwoehr, and Schweinfurt .and Ramstein, Germany; Hawaii, Barking Sands, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Johnston Island, Kalagen Island, Guam, Japan, Yokosuka, Yokota, Atsuji, Camp Zama, 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. They also played at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Stateside they performed at the following bases-Key West, Mayport, Jacksonville, NAS, Florida; and Kings Bay, Georgia.

The documentary

The primary editing of the documentary, GHOST PLAYER: RELIVE THE MAGIC, was finished in time to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of the release of the classic movie, FIELD OF DREAMS. The film has since been completed and screened in Chisholm MN, Cooperstown NY, Dubuque IA, Dyersville IA, and Las Vegas NV, Fairfield, IA and has pending showings in many upcoming film festivals. Copies of the film are now available for purchase; proceeds will be used to fund the ongoing expenses of the project.

It has been broadcast on Iowa and Wisconsin Public TV and has been uploaded to the imdb website: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1455000 or search for Ghost Player from their home page.

The book

Travels with Ghost and Other Tales, a companion book, filled with photographs and stories about the Ghost Players, baseball and Shoeless Joe Jackson, supplemented the movie to help preserve the Ghosts' history. Proceeds help to meet project expenses. For opportunities to purchase the DVD and/or companion book, please click here. If you would be interested in hosting screening or a book/dvd signing event please contact Joe at joescherrman@mac.com or call 563.875.2163. DreamCatcher Production is usually able to schedule a few members of the Ghost Players to attend such events.

The digital archive

Work continues, at DreamCatcher Production, LLC on the organization of the large quantity of video shot since 1998. Over 430 tapes have been edited, logged and digitized. Scherrman is seeking a host-site for the video archive as well as looking at other businesses that may be interested in providing public access venues. Work is also progressing to create a publicly accessible archive of the Ghost Players' legacy.

Technical details

Each file in the collection is tagged and named with source tape identity and date. In addition, a team of interns spent many months applying search words to each clip. These are currently available in separate data fields for people involved, location, specific activities, and in many cases short descriptions and transcripts.

All the tagging has been done within a video archive application called Frameline 47 (http://www.frameline.tv). The original video is in DV format in Quicktime files, with the metadata attached to each file in MPEG-7 format. Web video would by default be MPEG-4 (H.264), also with metadata in the Quicktime file.

In original DV format it takes approximately 800GB. An output of good-quality 320x240 H.264 web files should reduce this to 20-30 GB.

Who's supporting the project?

Ghost Player, LLC has partnered with The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and a team of professional advisors.

FIELD of DREAMS GHOST PLAYERS has received support from The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, and is funded-in-part-by grants from the Iowa Community Cultural Grant Program (Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs) and the Historical Resource Development Program (Historical Society of Iowa). Additional support comes from the Targeted Industries Internship Program (Iowa Department of Economic Development), and an endowment exists with The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque for the project's sustainability.

How can I be part of the project?

If you have an interesting story, photo or video about the Ghost Players baseball team, we would ask you to share the experience with us by email at: MyExperience@GhostPlayer.us. If you would like to support the project with a monetary tax-deductible donation, please click here.


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