10-Year-Old With Muscular Dystrophy Gets ‘Fantasy Fenway Park’ in His Backyard
Thomas, 10, of Windsor, Conn., wanted a baseball field built in his backyard so he could play ball with his friends. When Make-A-Wish found out Thomas is an avid Boston Red Sox fan, they worked with more than 40 vendors in his hometown to build a “Fantasy Fenwway Park” in Thomas’s backyard in just 34 days.
“Everything happened almost like magic,” Thomas’s father, Brad Hastings, told ABC News. “It’s really insane.”
The boy wanted his own baseball field because he does not have the energy or physical ability any longer to play on a Little League team. He spends nearly 50 percent of his time in a motorized wheelchair.
“That’s one of the things that was so great about his wish, it’s giving him back the ability to compete,” Hastings said. “His love for baseball is deep.”
Thomas, who falls asleep listening to baseball games, attended his first Red Sox game at Fenway at age three and threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game in 2014. He is an honorary member of the nearby University of Hartford’s baseball team. The team donated the bleachers that sit out in the outfield of Thomas’s Fenway Park.
The head groundskeeper at Fenway Park, Dave Mellor, visited Thomas, with his World Series rings, and helped arrange details like having the sod used in Thomas’s field be donated from the same New Jersey farm that makes sod for the Red Sox.
‘Nothing Here That Thomas Cannot Do’
Thomas drew up the plans himself, specifying that he wanted a completely flat field, with no raised bases or a pitcher’s mound.
The field contains regulation bases in addition to a 15-foot baseline that the boy is able to run on his own so he can play along with his friends and University of Hartford teammates.