It’s a dream for many baseball-loving kids—and adults—to play in their home team’s ballpark, running the bases, hitting a home run, sitting in the dugout. For Denny Garkey, his dream was simply to make his own field of dreams in the small town of Freeport. "It’s as close as you’re going to get to the field of dreams, but I didn’t hear any voices," Garkey says.
The history of baseball runs thick in Wrigley Field, a tradition carried on within the confines of Little Cubs Field. It took 18,500 bricks, $120 in coffee and doughnuts and countless hours by more than 1,000 volunteers to bring Garkey’s dream to reality. Almost every part of the field was donated—from the bricks to the ivy plucked straight from the walls of Wrigley.
When the Chicago Cubs gave Garkey and his group, the non-profit Friends of Little Cubs Field, a private tour of Wrigley Field, he measured bat racks, matched the colors and took photos.
"There’s nothing we didn’t get. I’m a stickler for detail." Garkey even had Marya Veeck, the daughter of Bill Veek, who was responsible for the original ivy in Wrigley Field, out to plant the ivy in Little Cubs Field.
The Cubs, Garkey says, have been very supportive.
"A half a dozen or more players … got to go out and they loved the field," says Mike Lufrano, senior vice president, community affairs/general counsel for the Chicago Cubs.
Entry to Little Cubs Field is free, but rentals are available for $35 an hour. Ultimately Garkey hopes non-profit groups will use Little Cubs Field for fundraisers.
"I’ve never grown up, I don’t intend to," he says. He hopes fans of the field won’t either, which is why the field’s motto is, "No one will be allowed to leave without having fun."
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