“Little Fenway” Big Hit
As a child I had a great lawn on which to play whiffle ball, that totally American sport based on baseball but where the rules were always determined by the peculiar configuration of your yard. I had a great yard for whiffle ball.
Jul 20, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of the left field scoreboard showing the American League East standings prior to a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Just past the driveway in left field was a single. Lining it off the neighbor’s house in left field was a double. On the roof was a homer. Hitting it into our giant weeping willow tree in straight away center, so named Frank after the giant of a man Frank Howard who played for the Washington Senators, was an automatic out. The sidewalk and street were the right field promised land – homer territory for lefties and righties who just couldn’t get around on whiffle heat. Everything else was an out. My yard was great but it was nothing like the gem nestled in Essex in the northwest corner of the state of Vermont.
Little Fenway is a unique 1/4th scale replica of Boston’s Fenway Park in the backyard of Pat & Beth O’Connor’s house. It was built in 2001 and is used exclusively for wiffle ball games. Several major charity fund-raising tournaments are held at Little Fenway every year. To date, over $2 million has been raised for various charities.
After Little Fenway was built, O’Connor pitched the idea of a charity tournament to Travis Roy’s foundation after reading “Eleven Seconds”, E.M. Swift’s book about the former Boston University hockey player who was paralyzed from the neck down in his first collegiate game. The idea took flight as so has Little Fenway.
Since 2002, O’Connor has hosted the annual charity wiffleball tournament to raise money for spinal cord injury research. In 2007, he built a replica of Wrigley Field and the addition accommodated the tournament’s expansion. (site: boston.com)
See the video here of the greatest catch ever made at Little Fenway. The Little Fenway website can be found here.