An Ohio dad has created a field of dreams for his 5-year-old son, spending a whopping $30,000 on the task of turning the family backyard into a big-league baseball diamond.
Jason Kidd, a divorced dad with shared custody of his son, owns a small aircraft management business. He worked on the project at his home, in the town of Brookfield, and tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the first time his son asked him about it, he immediately waved off the idea.
“Then I started thinking about it,” he recalls. “And realized, oh, it’s not so crazy.”
According to Kidd, the full process of building the field took about two years, and there’s still some work to be done.
“I had trees all over the place, so the first step was getting the trees out,” he explains. “Then there was a hill, which also had to be removed.”
He outlined the breakdown of costs for the project, pointing out that insulation and the removal of trees were the most expensive parts.
“The field itself wasn’t the most expensive,” he explains. “It was five or six thousand dollars worth of clay, the same kind of clay they use on actual big league fields.”
However, Kidd knew what he was getting into, and wasn’t surprised when the costs added up.
“I really did expect it, and that’s probably right around exactly what I would’ve expected,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But, I would have imagined a fence would be included in that price.”
According to the dad, while the construction of the field is complete, he still hasn’t been able to put up a fence because the logistics of getting steel and fence contractors together has proven to be complex. He hopes to have one up in the next few weeks.
Even though Kidd says that kids in the neighborhood are excited and plan to use the field, he admits he’s faced some backlash from the public.
“We had one person walk by and tell the contractors, ‘There goes my property value,’” he recounts. “A neighbor behind the house complained about the mess and how rain is going to wash top soil from the field into the ditch.”
However, he doesn’t think this is a problem, and says that the top layer isn’t soil, it’s clay, which is too heavy to wash away.
Kidd also adds that a township trustee received an anonymous complaint about the field. Brookfield Township Ohio representatives did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
Neighbors also feared broken windows because of how the field is oriented, according to the dad.
“The field is strictly for softballs, not hardballs,” he confirmed. “There won’t be broken windows with softballs.”
While his 5-year-old is passionate about baseball right now, Kidd says that he won’t mind if the boy loses interest later, and knows that he’s still figuring out his interests.
“If he never wants to play a professional sport, that’s fine,” he says. “For pre-school this year, he wanted to be a policeman, before that a doctor, and before that a superhero.”
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