By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Former White Sox player and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas has purchased the controlling stakes to the Field of Dreams movie site and ballpark in eastern Iowa.

Thomas along with real estate developer Rick Heidner, an initial investor of the Go the Distance Baseball, purchased all of the interest owned by Denise M. Stillman from This is Heaven, LLC, according to a press release from Go The Distance, LLC. 

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Go the Distance Baseball is a real estate development company established a decade ago to preserve the Field of Dreams Movie Site farm as a baseball shrine for future generations.

The site is home to the 1989 film Field of Dreams. In 2011, Stillman and a group of investors purchased the field and adjacent Lansing Family farm to preserve the Field of Dreams and create a unique destination for baseball fans, tournament players, and families. Before she passed away in 2018 at the age of 46, Stillman was passionate about bringing an MLB game to the site.

In a statement, Thomas says he is excited about the purchase and hopes for the future of the site.

“We are excited to lead the future development and expansion of the Field of Dreams in a collaborative spirit with our neighbors and government officials,” Thomas said.

Heidner in the statement promised to keep the legacy of the iconic field alive.

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“We are grateful to Tom Mietzel, and to John and Claire Stillman for entrusting us with their mother’s legacy, and we pledge to preserve her dream and enhance the vision that Denise brought to this sacred site nearly a decade ago.”

Thomas will serve as the chief executive officer and former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Dan Evans with serve as chief operating officer. Evans previously served as a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball.

The 190-acre site is known as a tourist attraction. The movie site features rentals and tours of the farmhouse, a souvenir shop, ballpark concessions, and “having a catch” on the field, which attracts more than 125,000 visitors each year. Most of the field remains as a working cornfield.

All-Star Ballpark Heaven, in collaboration with Baseball Factory, operates youth baseball tournaments at City of Dyersville complexes. The company is exploring plans to expand the Field of Dreams’ facilities to include baseball training and tournaments, providing a boost to tourism and tax revenue in Northeast Iowa.

MLB constructed an 8,000-seat ballpark on the Dyersville site. A pathway through a cornfield took fans to the ballpark, which overlooks the famous movie location.

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In August, The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees played the first MLB game at the Field of Dreams. Another game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds was announced for Aug. 11, 2022.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff