DYERSVILLE — Is this Iowa? Yeah, this is Iowa.
Cedar Rapids Kernels General Manager Scott Wilson was joined by front-office and grounds crew members of the Iowa Cubs, Clinton LumberKings and Quad Cities River Bandits in a joint effort to fix the “Field of Dreams” diamond Monday in rural Dyersville.
The field incurred significant damage when a 20-year-old Dyersville man tore through it in his truck in late January. Austin Pape was charged with felony second-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving, though he has pleaded not guilty.
A fundraising effort helped allow the repairs. Volunteers Wilson and others shoveled off about an inch and a half of snow on the infield, ripped up all of the old grass, leveled the field, laid new sod, replaced the pitcher’s mound, home plate and all of the bases at the movie site.
“It was an unbelieveable process to be a part of,” Wilson said. “Now I’ve got some blood, sweat and tears in on that field. I want to go back and see it in the summer.”
Denise Stillman owns the farm and field on the iconic movie site and served lunch to her “heroes.”
“It is so humbling to have these volunteers come from three hours away,” she told www.milb.com. “To see the field coming back to its original condition, it’ll be even better than when it was built. NBC Universal built this field in a day. They didn’t have this equipment, they didn’t have the professional help that we do with Steve Bush and Minor League teams, so it’s humbling and it’s heartwarming. There’s no way we could have done this on our own.”
“Baseball is just a giant family,” Wilson said. “Dwier Brown, the gentleman who played (Kevin Costner’s) dad in the movie, sent me a book when my dad passed away last August. It was signed, ‘Hey, heard about your dad ... I’ll have a catch with you whenever I come up to the field.’ So when this all came up, I was like ‘How do you not help? How do you not go be a part of that?’”
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Burlington with 3-TD win over Q.C.
The Burlington Bees connected on a couple of deep fades to smash the Quad Cities River Bandits, 28-7, Friday afternoon at Burlington’s Community Field. That’s right: 28-7.
Burlington scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning and had three separate five-run innings. Outfielders Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh drove in eight and seven runs, respectively
Poor QC pitcher Patrick Sandoval saw his earned run average soar from under 2.00 to 9.82 after allowing 10 runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Early player movement for Kernels
Pitcher Calvin Faucher was promoted from Cedar Rapids to high-Class A Fort Myers after Friday night’s game against Kane County, with pitcher Carlos Suniaga assigned from Fort Myers to C.R.
Suniaga, a 20-year-old right-hander made two appearances for the Miracle, allowing three hits and a run in three innings, picking up a save. Faucher, a 22-year-old righty from California-Irvine, pitched twice for Cedar Rapids, allowing three hits, no earned runs and striking out six in five innings.
Kernels in the majors
Thirty Cedar Rapids Kernels alumni have played games in the major leagues in the early going of the 2018 season. That is 15 position players and 15 pitchers, fittingly.
Joe Mauer is included on the list, though he only played two games here in 2016 on a MLB injury rehab stint. The other position players who have gotten into MLB games this season are outfielders Peter Bourjos (Atlanta), Byron Buxton (Minnesota), Randal Grichuk (Toronto), Max Kepler (Minnesota) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels), catchers Mitch Garver (Minnesota) and Jeff Mathis (Arizona), and infielders Niko Goodrum (Detroit), Howie Kendrick (Washington), Engelb Vielma (Baltimore), Andrew Romine (Seattle), Jean Segura (Seattle), Efren Navarro (Chicago Cubs) and Sean Rodriguez (Pittsburgh).
The pitchers are Luke Bard (Los Angeles Angels), Cam Bedrosian (Los Angeles Angels), Jose Berrios (Minnesota), Tyler Chatwood (Chicago Cubs), Mike Clevinger (Cleveland), Patrick Corbin (Arizona), Miguel Gonzalez (Chicago White Sox), Kevin Jepsen (Texas), Chih-Wei Hu (Tampa), Darren O’Day (Baltimore), Garrett Richards (Los Angeles Angels), Matt Shoemaker (Los Angeles Angels), Tyler Skaggs (Los Angeles Angels), Taylor Rogers (Minnesota) and Trevor Hildenberger (Minnesota).