It’s a beautiful day in early July. The sun beats down as the closing refrain of Sweet Caroline blares from the speakers. The crowd cheers as the home team prepares for another at bat.
A rookie steps into the batter’s box, gets in position, and waits; a bead of sweat forming on his brow as he eyes the pitcher. With a whiz, the ball arcs toward him. He swings hard, feels the connection before he hears the crack, drops the bat, but hesitates before heading to first. He watches with mounting excitement as the ball flies high and fast, going going gone. It’s a rookie’s dream come true; a home run over the Green Monster.
But that rookie isn’t Brock Holt and that Green Monster isn’t in Boston. The boy running the bases is 10 years old and the dust cloud he’s kicking up is 100% Maine dirt. Fenway Park, or maybe we could call it Fenway’s little cousin, has come to Maine.
For over 15 years, Jeff McIntire has dreamed of building a replica of the famous Boston landmark. Two kids and several moves later, he and wife, Kristin, have finally found themselves with the perfect area for a ball field adjacent to their home.
When he first began the building process, McIntire “wanted something cool for Nolan [my 10 year old son] and I to play around with, and then it grew from there.” After a month and a half and upwards of $2000, Little Fenway is recognizable to anyone who passes by. The right field wall, complete with Pesky Pole, reaches one way, while the Green Monster stretches in the other. A scoreboard, flagpole, and Citgo sign complete the current setup, though it’s only a matter of time before more changes take place.
When asked if it’s everything he hoped it would be, Nolan replied, “It’ll be a dream come true when we put in the Monster Seats,” a plan that is still a couple of years in the future. He went on to say, “I love waking up in the morning knowing I have Fenway Park in my backyard.”
What little sports fan wouldn’t love that? After just a few innings of an impromptu one-on-one game with his older cousin, Eli, age 6, stated, “I was so excited that for the whole first inning I barely said one word!”
Says McIntire, “Everybody would love to play the real Fenway. This is kind of a way to make that dream come true.” What started out as something for a father and son to share has grown into something they hope will benefit the whole community.
Since word of the field has spread, several games have already taken place with more in the works. Ellsworth’s first annual Guns & Hoses game (the police department vs. the fire department) will be played on Saturday, August 2nd, and the public is welcome to join the fun and cheer on their favorite team.
Video by: 4Rotor Filming
Anyone interested in putting together their own game can contact Jeff and Kristin through the Facebook page their daughter Ellie set up for Little Fenway Ellsworth.
Even if you don’t plan on playing a game, if you’re in the area, it’s worth taking a short detour to drive by the field. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll see some Fenway greats out there. It’s McIntire’s Field of Dreams and now that he’s built it, they very well may come.