A baseball ticket in the 1920s may have only cost a single dollar, but today, the average ticket price for a seat on the Green Monster in Fenway Park is about $165. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, however, one young Red Sox fan now has his very own replica of Fenway Park in his backyard.
Ten-year-old Thomas Hastings of Windsor, Connecticut has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscular weakness and degeneration. Because of his condition, Thomas was never able to participate in his favorite sport, though that never diminished his love of the game.
When Make-A-Wish reached out to Thomas, there was only one thing he wanted – a ballpark. To make his dream come true, hundreds of people from the community came together to build a near-exact replica of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.
The replica was completed in just 34 days. It features the iconic Green Monster, the Citgo sign, a Pesky Pole, a bullpen, a press box, and bleacher seating, which were donated by the Red Sox themselves. A ramp was also installed so that Thomas, who spends around 50% of his time in a wheelchair, can play, too.
“That’s one of the things that was so great about his wish, it’s giving him back the ability to compete,” said Thomas’s father, Brad. “His love for baseball is deep.”
Thomas attended his first Red Sox game at the age of three and threw the first pitch at Fenway in 2014. He is also an honorary member of the University of Hartford’s baseball team.
The Hartford team, family, friends, and contractors all visited Thomas’s “Fantasy Fenway” last month for the opening game. Thomas threw out the first pitch, of course, and performed the pregame routine of his favorite player, David Ortiz. Windsor police transported attendees to the Hastings home in shuttles.
While the miniature ballpark was still under construction, Dave Mellor, the head groundskeeper at Fenway Park also paid a visit to Thomas to show him his World Series rings.
Brad said of his son, “He was 100% in his element. Here’s a kid who gets so tired out and so worn down so easily, and he was running on pure adrenaline, so full of energy.”
Studies show that over half of homeowners who upgrade their outdoor living spaces spend six or more hours there per week. If it were up to Thomas, he’d probably spend all day out on the baseball diamond with his friends.