DYERSVILLE, Iowa — As the Major League Baseball game at Field of Dreams approaches, local residents are preparing their homes to welcome guests.
City officials have gathered a list of about 75 people who are willing to have visitors stay in their homes during the game as needed, as most hotel rooms are booked. The game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees will take place on Aug. 12 at the Field of Dreams site, and two days of Beyond the Game festivities are set to start Aug. 11.
Katie Steffensmeier put the names of her and her husband, Matt, on the list to be part of the event’s excitement. She noted that the couple recently got married and moved into a Dyersville home.
“I think any resident of Dyersville is super excited,” Steffensmeier said. “It’s a big opportunity for Dyersville. I think a lot of people will be out at the activities surrounding the game, and who doesn’t like baseball?”
Karla Thompson, Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, previously told the Telegraph Herald that the list was made to provide as many places to stay as possible for anyone contacting the city about accommodations. However, she only knew of a few local residents who are scheduled to host guests so far, including the Steffensmeiers.
The couple will host Dan Carubia in their home starting on Aug. 10. Carubia lives in Valatie, New York, outside of Albany. Next month will mark his first trip to Dyersville, and he will be an usher at the stadium during the MLB game.
“He was over the moon about it,” Katie Steffensmeier noted.
Carubia said he grew up loving baseball, even getting the chance as a child to take a photo with Jackie Robinson at a Brooklyn Dodgers game. He also worked as an usher at a minor league stadium in New York for 14 years.
Carubia said he contacted the Dyersville Chamber about two months ago about an opportunity to be part of the big day, and he was sent a link to apply to work during the game. MLB was seeking around 200 people to help work during the game, and all of the positions have since been filled.
“I saw (MLB was looking for) ushers, and I thought, ‘I know how to do that,’” he said. “I thought I’d try it. I figured it was never going to happen.”
Carubia said he has wanted to stop by the Field of Dreams since he first saw the 1989 movie. He said he felt a connection with the film’s focus about a father and son bonding through baseball. He noted that he has many memories of playing catch with his own father, who took Carubia to his first Yankees game in 1958.
“Maybe I’ll walk out by the cornfield. I’ll bring my glove, and maybe we’ll meet up and have a catch one more time,” he said. “… Having a catch with your dad doesn’t mean you’re just throwing around a baseball. It means he’s giving you some information about life.”
He added that he is looking forward to “talking baseball” with fans at the game and seeing how far people traveled to be part of the MLB experience.
Steffensmeier said she plans to take Carubia around Dyersville to show him the sites before taking part in MLB-game-related festivities.
“Events of this caliber are always exciting, and it’s great for the community,” she said.
Lynn Steger, of Dyersville, also put her name on the list to accommodate visitors. While she doesn’t have anyone scheduled to stay at her house yet, she noted that she’s accommodated guests before for the National Farm Toy Show.
“It’s a piece of cake, and you get to meet new people,” she said.
She added that she expects to see a lot of people in town during the festivities, especially for the free country concert set for Aug. 11. Country duo Maddie & Tae are the headliners.
“I think this is huge for our town, and I think this is going to be an exciting week for our town,” Steger said.