Building Little Field of Dreams

Picture1

Given the ever-increasing popularity for the Little Fenway complex, it appears that the cry for a new field arises every seven years.  In 2007-08, approximately seven years after Little Fenway was built, Little Wrigley was created to enable more people to play on charity weekends.  In 2014, approximately seven years after Little Wrigley was built, there arose the need for a third field.  Adding fields means more opportunities to raise more funding for worthy charitable causes.

The first challenge in 2014 was to determine what field to build.  We already had the two most widely recognized historic ballparks, one American League park and one National League park.  What would makIMG_0129e the most sense for a third field?  The choice:  Little Field of Dreams.  The 1989 movie Field of Dreams and the farmland in Dyersville, Iowa, where that original field was created, was the source for the idea to build a field where the outfield fence is made of tall corn stalks.

After excavating the acre of land adjacent to Little Fenway and Little Wrigley, a team led by John Pelkey developed and executed the construction of the field.  John procured white rectangular marble blocks to use for a backstop IMG_0227behind home plate and a retaining wall behind the outfield corn.  Bleachers on the first base side and white stones on the ground outside the baselines were added to mimic the field in Iowa.

Larry Riegert, who has been instrumental in the building and maintenance of all three fields, led the effort to plant and maintain the corn.  He had two strikes on him after cutworms and chipmunks destroyed our first two attempts to plant corn.  Ultimately Larry transplanted 600 corn stalks, each one 8-10 feet tall, before the 2014 Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tournament.  This has become an annual tradition in August.

IMG_0226The grand opening of Little Field of Dreams occurred on August 12, 2014.  Three Black Sox players (“Shoeless” John Peljey, Larry Riegert, and Jim Carter) came out of the corn to the soundtrack of Field of Dreams and then Shoeless John threw out the first pitch before the first game.

Since that magical evening in 2014 many teams and fans have enjoyed watching WIFFLE ball games at Field of Dreams.  A large IMG_0144deck with awning was added beyond Little Fenway in 2015 to serve as a spectator area from which you can watch the games on all three fields.

While there are currently no plans to add any additional fields on the property there is a plan to continue the magic of three annual charity events and this magic will make a difference in the lives of IMG_0497others for many years to come.