If you build it, yeah, people will come. Who wouldn’t? How many chances you get to step up to the plate at Fenway Park?
Ok, like many XXXL rappers, we should definitely add “Lil’” when describing this whiffle ball field of dreams located in picturesque Vermont.
Little Fenway is the dream of Pat O’Connor, who in 2000, turned his overgrown backyard into an overly fun ball yard. He matched the scale and paint color of the original Fenway. Only thing really missing were drunk bleacher bums, with “missing” in quotes.
Three years ago, Pat’s dream grew into the adjacent Little Wrigley, which is based downhill from Fenway. It’s a little surreal to walk from one park to the next, but that’s what I live for: surreal sports.
Pat and his wife often host charity events at their ballparks. One of them was happening the same weekend as the Mud Bowl in neighboring New Hampshire. When stars align like that, I don’t ask questions, I go. SFD™.
The energy for the tournament was fun, wonderful, whimsical and pure. Watching players whiff at balls, hit line drives against – and over – the faux Green Monster, fall into a home run trot, it was all pretty cool.
An interesting challenge this day was coming up with different ways of including the ballpark in the frame, to show the scale of this game.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to wear a red vest, or be stuck in a photo well. I could roam the field and shoot behind the batter, as if it were the old days when baseball photographers shot Ruth and Dimaggio along the base path with wide lenses.
With plastic bats, the slow-motion whiffle ball and my cat-like reflexes, I didn’t have to worry much about my personal safety.
Thanks to everyone there for being so cool and welcoming. Made the cross country trip a, um, grand slam.