By Kip Kovar
Herald Journal Sports Editor
DYERSVILLE – Baseball has always been a big part of Ryan Grams’ life. From an early age, the love of the game has always been there. That love for the game grew even more as he got to experience every baseball fan’s dream this past May by playing on the Field of Dreams down in Dyersville, Iowa alongside his 35-over team from Rockford.
“This is my first year with this Rockford team,” Grams said. “I did play with a few of the guys in Waconia last year in the fall. That’s how I got connected to them. They asked me to play and it was a pretty easy yes when they asked if I could play with them.”
Grams didn’t have to think twice about being able to live out a baseball dream of his. Once he got the news, the excitement grew, even more, when the movie popped up on his TV one night which made the anticipation continue to build up.
“It’s always been a goal to get down there,” Grams said. “It’s been on my to-do list for a while. The week before I left, I was flipping through the channels and saw that Field of Dreams was on so I ended up watching the movie before we went down. It’s always been a bucket list thing. I always wanted to go down there and then when I heard we could play on the field, it was an easy choice. It was definitely a dream come true.”
Getting the chance to play on the field was a dream come true for Grams. It got even better for him knowing he could experience it all alongside his wife Kayla and two sons Carter (4) and Jaxon (22 months).
“That was by far the coolest part,” Grams said about it being a family moment. “Being with my two boys and wife and getting to throw the baseball with them, it was just a really cool dad moment. Just seeing them have fun on the field was definitely a dream for me. With my wife and boys being able to come with me, you couldn’t have asked for anything better as a family. It was awesome. It was just unbelievable.”
Grams, who grew up playing baseball as a kid on his family farm, had flashbacks to those moments when playing on the Field of Dreams, an experience he won’t forget.
“It was almost like when you were little and playing tee-ball,” Grams said. “That’s kind of the feeling I got when I was playing. It’s just a small fence and then wide open at a farm. It’s like when I grew up on the farm. I was always playing baseball on my own farm. This farm just happened to have a field on it. It was a really cool experience and one I’ll never forget.”
Whether it was playing in the game or just taking in the scenes whenever possible, it was all about taking in the moment for Grams as the present met the past with two huge pieces of his life – baseball and the farm.
“I took pictures of just about everything,” he said. “I went into centerfield and took pictures of the farm and took it all in. It brought me back to my days of growing up on a farm where we played baseball with my siblings.”
Grams has been a household name in the Crow River Valley League over the past handful of years. At age 36, the love of the game still runs deep inside him and his family.
“I know I have always loved baseball,” Grams said. “My family loves baseball. My wife loves baseball. Both my boys love baseball. At 36, that kind of experience energizes you a little bit. This is why I play baseball and put in all the work.”
The experience was so memorable for Grams that he wants to share it with others. He’s already working on trying to get the Brownton Bruins to go down to the Field of Dreams next season so other people can have the same experience he did.
“I want everyone to experience it,” Grams said. “If you love baseball and you’ve seen the movie, it’s an experience of a lifetime for anybody to be able to go down there and see, let alone play on it. I’m hoping that next year I can take the Bruins down there to play on the field. A lot of them have said they’ve always wanted to go down there and see it. When I told them there’s an opportunity to go down there and we might be playing down there made a lot of guys excited.”