A ghost on the Field of Dreams

Spahn & Rose’s Jeff Offerman continues to serve as a “Ghost Player” at Iowa’s historic baseball site.
a man standing on a baseball field
Jeff Offerman at the Field of Dreams.

The arrival of autumn also brings the start of the Major League Baseball playoffs, building toward the Fall Classic and the crowing of a 2021 World Series Champion.

If you’re keeping tabs on the playoffs, the Yankees take on the Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park in a single-game elimination battle (or last night if you’re reading this in Wednesday’s newsletter).

But before the league’s 10 remaining teams compete for the title, a member of the Sphan & Rose team is continuing a special baseball run of his own.

Jeff Offerman, who joined the Iowa dealer in 2018, has served as a volunteer “Ghost Player” for three decades at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, including stepping through the hallowed cornfield onto one of the most famous ballfields in film history. 

“It’s pretty magical, and I get a lump in my throat every time,” Offerman, an outside sales rep at the Dyersville Spahn & Rose location, said in a post on the dealer’s blog. “Most of the people who come to the Field of Dreams have a story about why they’re there, and listening to their stories is cool.”

This past August, the White Sox defeated the Yankees at the 8,000 seat stadium built at the field for the inaugural “Field of Dreams” game. 

The on-field action featured plenty of fireworks at the plate and a walk-off run from Chicago’s Tim Anderson, not to mention a heavenly Iowa sunset illuminating the cornfields behind the stadium.

Offerman was at the game and had a chance to meet Kevin Costner, star of the “Field of Dreams” movie along with numerous MLB players who took part in the game.

The rep has been volunteering as a Ghost Player since 1990, a year after the movie was released when he played on the semipro Dyersville Whitehawks.

The film is based on W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel, “Shoeless Joe”and features the ghost of the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson who was banned from baseball in 1921.

Offerman, 52, says he plans to keep walking through the corn, usually volunteering 20 to 30 hours at the field every summer.

“When I walk through the corn, I’ll reminisce about different things,” Offerman says. “Sometimes I’ll think about how my father could have tried out for the [Cleveland] Indians but had to stay on the farm and shock oats. Or I’ll think about what the field means to me as I pass baseball on to my sons, who play ball for their schools.”

Read the complete story about Offerman’s history at the Field of Dreams at Spahn & Rose.

Based in Dubuque, Iowa, Spahn & Rose operates more than 20 locations in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Georgia.


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