When Denny Garkey built his little league park to replicate Wrigley Field, he paid attention to every detail. In Freeport, IL he brought to life a little league baseball field that recreated every aspect of his own field of dreams.
Now he’s adding bleachers to his masterpiece, Little Cubs Field. A fundraising drive is starting now, with Cubs fans being offered a chance to make this dream come true. For a $100 donation, a metal seat plate will be permanently installed on a seat in the Left Field Bleachers with name of your family, business or organization. In addition, all those who contribute will become honorary “Bleacher Bums” and a plaque naming contributors will be displayed in the Little Cubs Field Gift Shop. Only 180 seats are available, and when sold, will provide the money needed to finish the project.
The framework for the bleachers was donated by a local businessman, and money is needed for concrete, steps, and replacement aluminum seats. The bleachers will be 5 rows high, about 40 feet long, and 9 feet off the ground in left center field above the ivy at Little Cubs Field, 1160 W. Empire, Freeport, Il. Construction could be completed in 2013 if funds are raised.
Little Cubs Field, officially endorsed by the Chicago Cubs, opened in May 2008. Harry Caray’s widow, Dutchie and Peoria Chiefs owner Pete Vonachen cut the ceremonial ribbon. The field features bricks and ivy from the actual Wrigley Field. The Ron Santo flag on the left field foul pole once flew in the big park on Chicago’s North side. In center field stands a scoreboard with a working clock that looks exactly like the one at 1060 W. Addison. The scoreboard shows the Cubs defeating the New York Mets 21-0 in the ninth inning. The White Sox are also beating a New York team, the Yankees, but by a more modest score of 8-3 in the 7th.
Garkey built a park that would cost over $600,000 for a final cost of just $140,000 due to all the volunteers who donated their time, materials and labor to the cause of youth baseball. Some of them are not even baseball fans, but they love the idea and they love the spirit of what it’s about. More Wrigley Field details will be added to Little Cubs Field in the future. They plan to build “rooftops” with the “Eamus Catuli” sign across the street. “For such a little place, it’s adorable and it’s such a great thing for little kids to be able to come out and play on such a nice field like this, it kind of blows me away, Caray said.
The park was built for pinto league baseball, wiffleball and kickball.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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