by Larry LeoJune 30, 2020
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
D.J. Dick has created the ultimate Wiffle ball experience in the backyard of his Chicago suburban home by replicating Wrigley Field and all of its little details...
quote:Click for photos here...
"I just looked at pictures, did what I could and made it happen," said D.J., 16, an incoming junior who plays baseball, basketball and golf at Palatine High School. "Because I've been a Cubs fan all my life and everyone's dream is to play at Wrigley, I was like, 'Why can't I build it in my own backyard?' So that's what I did."
Danny Hopper, 15, who also will be a Palatine High junior, has known D.J. since they met several years ago while playing travel baseball. He's impressed with how his friend created the Wiffle paradise.
"It's so cool," Danny said. "It's crazy (having gone) to Wrigley and coming here and how similar it is. Win or lose, you're always having fun playing."
D.J.'s vision to elevate his yard started small about two years ago, when he installed PVC pipes as left- and right-field foul poles. He also built a screen behind home plate in an effort to prevent foul balls from landing in a neighbor's yard.
Accompanied by his father, David, who is athletic director at Fremd High School in Palatine, D.J. purchased materials at a home-improvement store for what became a new Wrigley Field-model scoreboard a few weeks ago, complete with an American flag at the top. He also replaced the PVC pipes with two yellow flagpoles.
Other touches include real bases, a pitching rubber, an on-deck circle with a Cubs logo, lights for night games, short grass and neatly chalked foul lines. The distance from home plate to a "short porch" at the right-field pole is 65 feet, and 93 feet in the corner, 90 feet to center and 95 feet to left.
"It's actually pretty hard to hit a home run," he said. "We pitch an official Wiffle ball, so they move a lot -- a lot of spin. You've got to really get good contact on to get it out."
Filed Under: MLB
Originally published on TigerDroppings.com
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