DYERSVILLE, Iowa — A venture led by former Chicago White Sox slugger and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas now has controlling interest in the Field of Dreams Movie Site and All-Star Ballpark Heaven.
The transaction was announced Thursday, Sept. 30. "This is Heaven, LLC" is purchasing the interests from "Go the Distance Baseball, LLC," which is owned by the Denise Stillman Trust.
Denise Stillman bought the field in 2012, and was the driving force that ultimately pushed a Major League Baseball game to be played at the site. She passed away in November 2018 from a rare liver cancer.
Her husband and current CEO "Go the Distance Baseball, LLC," Tom Mietzel, told News 8 it was time for him to step back and "enjoy it from the sidelines."
"I have mixed emotions about this, to be honest, because this was her baby, but she always said if I could make it work, and we found the right group that I should sell it," Mietzel said. "They've got an incredible management team, and I believe they're going to preserve Denise's legacy which was important to us."
"I've long admired Denise Stillman," said Thomas during the on-site announcement. "I am excited to lead the future development and expansion of the Field of Dreams... while also preserving the dream and enhancing the vision that Denise brought to this cornfield almost a decade ago."
While the terms of the purchase have not been made public, Thomas is expected to serve as the CEO and former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Dan Evans will serve as the chief operating officer.
To make this endeavor happen, Thomas partnered with Rick Heidner, who is an entrepreneur and a Chicago-area real estate developer. Heidner already had partial investment in "Go the Distance Baseball" and will keep that investment going forward.
"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 in a statement.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds joined in the excitement of the purchase, thanking Frank Thomas "for his investment in Iowa."
“The Field of Dreams is symbolic of what makes Iowa such a special place, and I'm proud to showcase it for the nation," she said. "Now, with Frank’s vision, new leadership and strong state and local partnerships, I’m confident that the Field of Dreams will become a world class attraction, and further expand economic development opportunities for Dyersville, its surrounding communities and our state as a whole."