(This story was first published in the July 3, 2013 edition of the Vermont Standard.)
By Katy Savage, Standard Staff
PLYMOUTH — In Plymouth, Fenway Park is 65 feet to left field and 55 feet to right. Pedro Martinez is beating Don Zimmer to the ground, Emmett Ashford is in the dugout and Carlton Fisk is the catcher.
According to the painted scoreboard, the Yankees are perpetually losing.
Kevin Laski built his version of Fenway Park in his backyard three years ago. All of his favorite moments in Red Sox history are depicted on about 20 murals that surround the bases at his wiffle ball field. There is Bill Buckner, who let a ball slip thorough his legs and is blamed for losing the 1986 World Series, and Tony Conigliaro, a promising young star whose career ended in 1967 after he got hit in the face by a ball.
Laski grew up in Connecticut on a quarter-acre of land. Unable to play baseball without hitting neighborhood cars, he’s getting the opportunity to relive his youth in Vermont.
As a kid he played little league baseball. He became a Sox fan in 1967 and has been to more than 20 games. It took him two months to build Fenway Park.
His three childhood friends from Connecticut visit him on weekends and the four reenact different moments in baseball history together while a soundtrack plays in the background. The “Star Spangled Banner” plays at the beginning of the game and various announcers explain the plays on the murals.
“I get to relive the 2004 World Series and it ends the way it should have,” said Steve Savino, one of Laski’s oldest friends and a Yankees fan.
Above, Andrew Crossman, 13, of Plymouth hits a ball to his brother, Austin Crossman.
Rick Russell Photos
Going to Laski’s Farm is more like going to a carnival. Laski has an enlarged barbecue pit and two logs with yellow-painted bulls-eyes that he uses for ax-throwing competitions. He has converted a large portion of his house to a game room, where most of the games have been invented by Laski.
“His farm is total adult escapism where you can relive your childhood and that’s what we do,” Savino said. “We play baseball all day, we eat incredible amounts of barbecue at night and then we stay up all night watching movies.
“It’s a group of adults that all grew up together, who never grew up.” In the game room, there is a table hockey game, a foosball table and a pool table from the 1900s. Laski built a horse racing game, similar to Wheel of Fortune, with famous racehorses including Man-of-War and Secretariat.
“It brings you back to a place that’s not around anymore,” Laski said. “Now everything’s digital.” Laski hosts parties for neighbors and friends about once a month.
Kevin Laski of Plymouth cheers in the crowd with Red Sox fans.
Rick Russell Photo
“Since I entertain here a lot — might as well have fun stuff to do,” Laski said. “The creative process to get there was the most important thing to me. It’s fun to see people’s reactions.” Laski, a former occupational therapist moved to Vermont to be outdoors 12 years ago. His ideas come to him in dreams.
With so many projects and his 200-pound German Leonberger dogs, donkeys and goats, Laski never gets bored.
He is working on his next project, most likely an addition to the game room.
“I have to be creative,” he said. “I need to be pursuing creative things.”
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