When my son David started playing in a youth baseball league, we wanted to get in some extra practice. We live in a rural area far from a park, so we practiced in our large back yard. As batted balls kept rolling into the high grass surrounding our yard, I took action and began mowing the high grass down to minimize the number of balls lost. Mowing led to cutting brush, which led to cutting small trees, which led to installing netting extending 15 feet up to stop hard hit balls. Before we knew it, we had our very own Field of Dreams!
We now had a place where 4 of my kids and myself could play a game of “first base” after supper on just about any summer evening. In the game of “first base”, each batter hits the ball, but they only run to first base. They return to home and keep batting until they get 3 outs. Then, the next batter is up. The non-batting kids play first base and outfield. As dad, I am all-time pitcher except for when I am up to bat. Also as dad, I bunt the ball to the pitcher or infield and try to get to first base before being tagged out.
In another game appropriately called 2 bases, suitable for 6 to 8 players, a regular baseball game is played except 2 bases are used instead of 3 due to the small number of players. Sometimes, I will be all-time pitcher for the kids and also serve as umpire to make a final unbiased ruling on disputed plays. My kids love this game and it even beats out their flashy video games, something tough to do in this day and age!
My father-in-law, visiting friends and family, and neighbors have joined in for these backyard baseball games. These games have been a blast! Our new backyard ball field truly has proven to be a “Field of Dreams”.