Vandals tear up 'Field of Dreams' baseball field

Posted at 9:34 AM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 09:34:57-05

DYERSVILLE, IA (KCRG/CNN) – Police are looking for whoever drove through the Field of Dreams on Monday evening, creating 4-inch ruts in the field, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Following warm temperatures and recent rain, police think a larger vehicle - perhaps a truck - tore deep tracks into the pitcher's mound, the infield, and the outfield of the former movie set.

Normally an affable man, caretaker Al Steffen, cursed when he saw the damage and the realization of the amount of work to fix it.

"They couldn't have went on the field at a worse time," Steffen said.

The sprinkler system's water main might have been smashed too, which can't be checked until temperatures warm up.

Steffen can barely begin to estimate damage amounts, but bets repairs won't come cheap. Work he'll likely have to do himself without the help of insurance.

"First thing I did was call the insurance agent,” said Steffen. “No, there's no coverage. It's just on the buildings.”

Police have been left with little more than tread marks to go on. There are no security cameras at the site, and no one was working at the time.

"Incidents like this are always hard to investigate,” said Dyersville Police Chief Brent Schroeder. “It's most likely a random act. Somebody most likely had a lack of judgment at that moment and thought they were doing something funny, or for whatever reason."

Even after repair work is done, the vandal will likely have left a permanent mark. The field's owners are thinking about installing security measures and locking the bridge-gate to keep people out after business hours.

"People come for so many miles, they get here and they can't get in,” Steffen said. “We don't want to do that."

Steffen, who was an extra in the final scene of the 1989 movie, said repairs will start as soon as it's warm enough. The movie starred Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, and Ray Liotta.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for repairs and security improvements to the field. It has a $15,000 goal. At last check, the page had raised more than $7,000.

The hope is repairs will be finished by opening day, which is April 1.

Copyright 2018 KCRG via CNN. All rights reserved.