Spooner's Donnie Roberts built a baseball paradise right in his backyard
Bucko's Field is free to use for any area team
Spooner (WQOW) -- The first edition of our Fields of Dreams series takes us to Spooner, where a backyard project has turned into a summer staple. Longtime baseball fan Donnie Roberts doesn't have to go far to find a game -- he just has to step out his backdoor.
Where many saw cobs of corn, Roberts saw Ty Cobb. It's as if he knew that under an old farm field was a baseball paradise.
"It was in the fall, right after baseball season that we decided to tackle the project -- not thinking it was going to be this project though," says Roberts.
For the past eight years, the Roberts family could be found with either a baseball bat or a shovel in their hands. "The first part was just the field, then put up some fencing around it, built some dugouts, and a little concessions stand. And that's the funny thing -- we're probably only half way," adds Roberts.
Maintaining the field has become a second job, with Roberts putting in at least eight hours on game day. But of course, it's not work if it's something you love.
"I'm a huge fan of baseball, so that's the plus," says Roberts. "I just get to step outside and there is a baseball game going on."
There is no shortage of games. The field is home to a summer collegiate baseball team owned by Roberts, and he allows any area squad to use the field for free.
"We want to make it where everyone can come out here, have a hamburger and a hot dog and a pop and watch a baseball game."
Of course that food is made by Roberts as well. In fact, he's footed the bill for nearly every base and blade of grass. So how much has the project cost Roberts?
"It's in the tens of thousands, I know that for sure. Probably in excess of $30-thousand," says Roberts.
But where the bank account is dwindling, the memories for a baseball crazed community are overflowing.
"About once a month it hits me, Jeez - I can't believe we did that with a rake and a shovel," adds Roberts. "I guess we built it and they came."
Roberts named the field after his son who died in a car accident last year. Roberts says the next projects for Bucko's Field include the addition of lights and a new clubhouse for next season.
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