Fast-forward more than 20 years, and that 193-acre farm now receives more than 65,000 tourists a year — all wanting to embrace a bit of baseball movie history. The owners, Don and Becky Lansing, have enjoyed the publicity the film brought their "little piece of heaven", but they are now looking to sell.
“We love the land and the field, but it is time for us to head to the locker room,” Becky told the DeMoines Register. She added, “We are getting up there in years and it is time to think about retirement.”
For $5.4 million, you'll receive 193 acres of prime earth — as well as the site of the movie, with the baseball diamond; a two-bedroom, 1.5-bath house with the familiar front porch; and six outbuildings. Oh yeah, and some 65,000 fans.
Real estate agent Ken Sanders, himself a former professional baseball player, thinks any number of happy endings exist. “It would be easy to guess a baseball player, a movie buff or even someone from the film’s cast,” Sanders said. “But the movie’s reach has been so widespread, potential buyers don’t necessarily fall within those demographics. It could end up being a nonprofit organization, a land trust or a foreign investor. We might all be surprised.”
As the sale does not contain any stipulations regarding the field, there's the slim chance it could be plowed under — but I think the value here far exceeds the fertile cropland. One happy ending could be some kind of land trust to preserve the setting and turn it into a nature preserve or some other beneficial setting.
But please keep the baseball field. Iowa may not be heaven, but it sure could use the tourism. As a play on the ghostly voice in the film, "If you leave it, they will come."
To see the listing for the farm, hit the official site here.