SOMERS, N.Y. – Playing at Cooperstown’s Dreams Field is a special moment for youth baseball players.
Located in upstate New York just 5 miles away from the Baseball Hall of the Fame, the sports complex hosts dozens of 12-and-under teams every summer in a nationwide tournament.
The Somers Red Storm was one of many teams scheduled to make the trip this summer, but those dreams were dashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed the facility for the 2020 season.
Steve D’Ambrosio, whose 12-year-old son plays on the team, wasn’t about to sit idly by as the summer season faded away. So, he got to building his own field—right in his backyard.
Not big enough for a baseball field, D’Ambrosio’s yard was instead turned into a Wiffle ball field. He built a tall wall in right field with a scoreboard built into it, reminiscent of the Green Monster in Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.
“It was just kind of my way of saying, ‘We can’t play at Dreams Park, so let’s do something in the backyard,’” D’Ambrosio said. “It turned into a little tribute to Fenway Park.”
D’Ambrosio named his field Stormway Park.
“It’s kind of a tribute to the Red Storm travel kids, particularly a 12-year-old group that had so much taken away from them this summer,” he said.
But what’s a baseball field without games?
“As things opened up, some boys came over and we kind of broke it in last weekend (Saturday, May 30),” D’Ambrosio said. “There were three teams of two, so six boys came over.”
The young sluggers who manage to hit a home run over the Green Monster will be forever remembered at Stormway Park.
“There’s a sharpie on the back [of the wall], so you sign your name,” he said. “You kind of put yourself in history.”
D’Ambrosio remains hopeful that the Red Storm can play some ball this summer outside of his backyard.
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