There's no place like home field

Taking a cue from the McFarland High School baseball field, 11-year-old Brody Samuel decided to add the signature Spartan head to the field he made in his backyard. He was able to spray the logo along with baselines and batter boxes a few weeks ago during a weekend afternoon.

Brody Samuel has spent a significant amount of time at the McFarland High School’s new baseball field this year, watching his older brother Reece and the rest of the Spartan squad take on opponents. The new facility prompted the 11-year-old to update his backyard field.

What started last year as a homemade diamond with bases and spray painted baselines now includes an homage to the high school’s home field – a blue Spartan logo behind home plate.

“We always play baseball back there, and me and my dad started making this field (last spring),” the Waubesa Intermediate School fifth grader said.

This year, Brody anticipated getting to install his playing field again and would ask his parents regularly if the weather was going to be cooperative. While the regular high school baseball season played its first home game at the end of March, Brody couldn’t get his field prepared until the weekend of May 18. The 11-year-old said it took him the better part of the afternoon to spray the lines, batter boxes and Spartan logo.

All of the lines and logo were painted freehand, he said, noting he draws the signature Spartan head a lot in art class.

“You told me something along the line of, ‘Dad, we live in McFarland, everyone has to know how to draw the Spartan head,’” Brad Samuel said.

Brody admitting creating the helmeted head was more difficult to spray paint than it is to draw with pencil.

As the field’s creator, the young baseball player is responsible for maintaining it. The WIS student will mow the lawn, rake up grass clippings, respray the lines and logo, and remove any dog poop.

“He maintains the field very well,” Michelle Samuel said.

With the onset of more decent weather, Brody has been able to use his field more often.

“We like to play baseball in the yard almost every night when it’s nice out,” he said.

Typically, Brody, his friends, his dad, and younger brother Mason will use the field.

“Sometimes Reece even comes out there with us,” Brad Samuel said.

The field lacks the amenities found at most diamonds – there is patio furniture instead of bleachers, there are no dugouts, and there’s no need for a concession stand or restroom because the kitchen and bathroom are close enough.

Michelle Samuel even jokes the chickens cooped up in the backyard are the spectators of the baseball games

“We just hope a ball doesn’t fly in there and hit them,” she said.

But for Brody, who started playing T-ball at age 5 and moved into baseball just three summers ago, it’s his personal home field with the possibility of endless innings and hours of playing ball.

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