GALESBURG, Ill. — For as long as he could remember, Michael Carlson has always wanted his own whiffle ball field. He remembered looking up at his parents and telling him of his dream — that would one day, finally, come true.
The now-named "Carlson Field" took years of planning and hours of labor to bring his vision to life.
"In my mind, I've been building this since 1992," Carlson said. "My friend David helped me and I started just digging holes. He knew exactly how to dig the holes in lines. I'm just out here digging holes, he pointed. He's like, dig a hole here, Michael, dig a hole here, Mike. I'm like, okay, Dave. It ended up taking probably a full year of us just putting the wood together, getting the paint, getting the file poles getting the signs."
Carlson has had plans in his head for the field since he was a little boy but did not start construction until 2012.
"It ended up taking probably a full year of us just putting the wood together, getting the paint, getting the file poles, getting the signs," said Carlson.
Carlson Field's scoreboard is the same color as the Green Monster at Fenway Park and even has some of the same sod used at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Most of the signs at Carlson Field are hand painted as well.
However, Carlson said there is more to the field than the actual building and planning.
"This whole thing is just, to a certain extent, trying to make the younger version of yourself proud," Carlson said. "As people grow up, they get rid of the things that they enjoy that they've seen as childish things, but it brought them so much joy, but they just got rid of them because of whatever reason."
Carlson encourages others to do the same, and make the younger version of themselves proud.
"That's exactly what he would say, 'You did great. You have made me proud,'" added Carlson.
Carlson said he has thought about opening the field up to the public, but for now, if you would like to play on his whiffle ball field, all you have to do is ask.
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