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Teen builds ballpark in his Grosse Point Woods backyard

Andrew Norton

Rob Hathaway has a passion for ballfields that goes back to his first view of the beloved ballpark at "The Corner," Tiger Stadium. Inspired by the lush field, Rob asked and received permission from his mom to build a pitcher's mound in the backyard. As Rob heads off to college this fall he leaves his father in charge of groundskeeping for the little ballpark that includes a mini Green Monster (from fabled Fenway Park in Boston) and two scoreboards. He put a lot of his own time and money into the project over the years to the tune of about $7,000.

You HAVE to check out the pictures over at the Detroit Free Press. Man, it makes me wish I had done something like that as a kid.

I had my own little ballfield in our yard when I was growing up. Home plate was a rough creosote soaked electric pole and my "Green Monster" was in centerfield - an outbuilding where you received credit for a home run if the ball landed on the rooftop. The bases were miniature orange traffic cones and the sandbox in right field was in play.

If you didn't have enough players to field a full team (living in the country we never had a full team) you could leave a "ghostie" on base and go back to hit again. Once and awhile I tried to have my "ghostie" steal a base, but I was always overruled. With the outdoor light on the barn you could even play night games if you wanted.

You know, come to think of it I did have a pretty cool field growing up. Sure there weren't any scoreboards or realistic looking outfield fences and a warning track. But I have such fond memories of playing a simple game of baseball with my dad, sisters, or cousins at my own "field of dreams" that I think it more than makes up for not having a more realistic looking field.

I only hope that I can create such fun memories for my son in our backyard.