When I typed in – Wiffle Ball Stadium and How to Build A Wiffle Ball Stadium in 2006, this was the first video that came up. It may have been the only video that came up.
There was a guy, who started playing ball with his son on the front yard and it went from over the bush and in the street is a home run to something much more. My first field was very quirky, and this gave me hope that a quirky field was okay. That said, I will forever be jealous that he didn’t have to landscape anything as I did in my two fields.
It was very cool how he added things over time, although I was not sure how much time. Passed, because as we become obsessed with these things, well, we tend to go all in quickly.
He added the strike box and backstop, which is an absolute on two fronts. The strike box, although there’s seemed small is vital to keep the game going and any arguments at bay. The backstop saves saved us hours chasing and picking up balls.
I wish I had thought of the naming rights, he got a cool $20M for that! Since this was 12 years ago I wonder if they rebought or he sold out? I named my first park, The Ball Park at Lake Gardner, it was definitely cool to come up with a unique name.
When he adds the foul pole to the side of the yard that appears to be his neighbor’s house, I had to laugh. What were the neighbors thinking? What was his wife thinking? She never showed up in the video at all. The new neighbor did though, pitching of course.
When I built my first field behind the batters’ box we had a 6-foot fence, and then the neighbors’
yard. After the first half season, hundreds of balls were going over into their yard. I couldn’t tell if they were upset or not. They had a dog named bracksten, he was some type of hunting dog and they had a full obstacle course for the dog in their yard. I think they were training it for something, it sounded like a boot camp for dogs over there allot. Who was I to say anything, I built a baseball field. However, brackstien started taking the balls and crushing them so this was becoming a lose-lose. I ended up moving home plate and I installed a 20-foot high net to stop balls from going over the fence. It mostly worked, only a few made it over after that.
After I sold my house in 2008, I ran into them in 2010, they exchanged some pleasantries and told me every now and then brackstien comes running out of the woods (there was a wetland/wood area to the right of the field we shared. With a wiffle ball. I had to chuckle, I thought I got them all.
As this guy continues to add a scoreboard, lights, fencing, a pitchers mound, this was exactly what we went through. I could relate on so many levels, the field and the new additions were every bit as much fun as playing on the field.
I found the addition of a hard surface pitchers mound was key to both of my fields, the mound gets beat up all the time and maintaining it was impossible. I ended up using Pro Mounds, as it appears he did as well. It was a smart and cool addition.
He never mentioned the equipment they used, but personally, I found the equipment to be just as much fun as I began to discover all the new amazing stuff that had been created! More on that in another post.
PS – Did you wonder whatever happened to this guy? I did. His name is Mike Leonard, and I found that out from Bob Costas on the videos, here is his blog. Mike Leonard and Pine Tree Park and a more indepth video of his story Mike Leonard, more indepth story