The Daily Herald - D.J. Dick has created an ultimate Wiffle ball experience that includes a scoreboard, flags, ivy-covered wall and outfield basket similar to what's at the Friendly Confines. The Wiffle park regularly draws neighbors to watch the boys in 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 action from the home's upper-level deck or outside the fence.
"I just looked at pictures, did what I could and made it happen," said D.J., 16, an incoming junior who plays baseball, basketball and golf at Palatine High School. "Because I've been a Cubs fan all my life and everyone's dream is to play at Wrigley, I was like, 'Why can't I build it in my own backyard?' So that's what I did."
Danny Hopper, 15, who also will be a Palatine High junior, has known D.J. since they met several years ago while playing travel baseball. He's impressed with how his friend created the Wiffle paradise.
"It's so cool," Danny said. "It's crazy (having gone) to Wrigley and coming here and how similar it is. Win or lose, you're always having fun playing."
D.J.'s vision to elevate his yard started small about two years ago, when he installed PVC pipes as left- and right-field foul poles. He also built a screen behind home plate in an effort to prevent foul balls from landing in a neighbor's yard.
Accompanied by his father, David, who is athletic director at Fremd High School in Palatine, D.J. purchased materials at a home-improvement store for what became a new Wrigley Field-model scoreboard a few weeks ago, complete with an American flag at the top. He also replaced the PVC pipes with two yellow flagpoles.
Other touches include real bases, a pitching rubber, an on-deck circle with a Cubs logo, lights for night games, short grass and neatly chalked foul lines. The distance from home plate to a "short porch" at the right-field pole is 65 feet, and 93 feet in the corner, 90 feet to center and 95 feet to left.
"It's actually pretty hard to hit a home run," he said. "We pitch an official Wiffle ball, so they move a lot -- a lot of spin. You've got to really get good contact on to get it out."
Check this video out to see how great this backyard wiffle ball field turned out.
This D.J. Dick kid killed it.
Talk about quarantine DIY projects.
We all had a friend growing up who had the best yard or cul de sac to play in. They more often than not had the cool parents too. The dads who would build ice rinks in the winter, and spray paint end zones and a 50-yard line on their back lawns in the fall. The moms who always had kool-aid, or lemonade, or Gatorade in a nice cold pitcher on hand for when you were done.
Well this kid from Palatine and his folks just took the crown.
This backyard "Friendly Confines" is legit AF.
On deck circle?
Lights for when those Friday afternoon games go into extra's?
How about the flags in center?
Holy shit. Is that the actual scoreboard too?
Ah, you got me. Came out great though. And 400 to center? How many acres you guys sitting on in Palatine?
Look at the detail on this baby -
(Is Quick Rick running the balls and strikes for this thing too?)
Wow. Even have the netting to catch the bleacher bums after having one too many and laying out for an Ian Happ yabo.
They even have foul poles.
Is this heaven?
No, it's Palatine.
They also have a closer by committee.
And D.J. looks like a gamer. Swinging out of his shoes.
(Chicks still dig the long ball)
This field is incredible. If I lived in Palatine I'd be moving heaven and Earth to get an invite over to the Dick house so I could play on it.
p.s. - Everybody knows putting quarters in the wiffle ball and electrical taping them was the way to make them do real crazy shit. But what about the bats? I had friends that rode hard for both the heat and the cold camps. Some swore leaving the bats out in the blazing hot sun hardened them (and turned them light yellow) and others said the secret was leaving them out in the winter.
p.p.s. - Dick family, if you need somebody to drop "Bad Blood" for your at bats or "Whoomp There It Is" when you go yabo slide into my DM's. I'm still out of work on like 6 of my 10 jobs so I'm available.