WHAT IS IT? Little Cubs Field is a smaller version of Wrigley Field, measuring 100 feet down the lines, 112 feet to center, featuring 18,500 color-matched real brick, real ivy, and a replica of the famous Wrigley Field sign.Over 30 features of Wrigley Field will be replicated.
WHERE IS IT? The corner of West Empire St. and South McKinley Ave., located in Read Park in Freeport, Illinois. Our address is 1160 W. Empire St, Freeport, IL 61032. www.mapquest.com/maps
DO I HAVE TO PAY TO GET IN? No, admission is always free to Little Cubs Field. There is no fence around it. However, if you have a group that wants to have a party or gathering at LFC, you can reserve the field for $45.00 an hour. The field will not be rented for more than 2 consecutive hours (except for special events), so visit us anytime. Check the schedule before coming.
WHO BUILT IT? Volunteers (bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, laborers) from the area donated countless hours to make LCF a reality. Materials and equipment were also donated.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR? T-ball, Little League (6-8 year old boys and girls), wiffleball leagues and tourneys, kickball leagues and tourneys, birthday parties, team parties, rentals to groups, fundraisers, and as a tourist destination. Rentals will be just $45/hour. We will start taking rental reservations for the 2010 season on March 27th. People of all ages will have fun at Little Cubs Field!
WHAT DO THE CUBS SAY ABOUT THIS? The Chicago Cubs have supported and encouraged the project from the beginning, giving us a private tour of Wrigley and a cutting of the ivy along with dirt, grass, seats, and flags from Wrigley. The Cubs Caravan came to Freeport January 16th, 2008 to benefit Little cubs field. Ron Santo has been a big supporter of the project. He was here June 14, 2008 for the Grand Opening.
IS THIS A CHARITY? Yes, Build Little Cubs Field is a non-profit corporation, and is part of the Northwest Illinois Development Association (NIDA). We have 501(c)(3) status. All contributions are 100% tax-deductible.
WHEN IS IT OPEN? The first little league game was April 28th, 2008 and is open daily all summer after that. The Little Cubs Field Gift Shop hours will be posted in April 2010. The 2010 season will start April 26th.
CAN I HAVE A PICNIC? Yes, we have picnic tables, some shade, and pop. You can bring your own food/drinks too, (no alcohol please), and bring your own grill.
IS THERE EQUIPMENT TO USE? Yes, we have some bats & balls that are always in the 3rd base dugout for free use. Use wiffleballs, tennis balls, ragballs or rubber balls. (no hardballs please)
DIRECTIONS TO LITTLE CUBS FIELD (1160 W Empire St., Freeport, IL 61032)
From the east: Take I-90 to Rockford, Il, exit onto Rt. 20 west, 30 miles to rt 26 south into Freeport, Il. Proceed to the 4th stoplight, turn right(west) on Empire St. Little Cubs Field is 5 blocks on the right.
From the west: From Galena, Il. Follow rt. 20 west, turn south on Rt 26 into Freeport, Il. and follow same directions as above
From the south, enter Freeport on rt. 26, proceed past McDonalds , turn left on Empire St(toward Highland College) and Little Cubs field is 5 blocks on the right.
From the north—Enter Freeport on rt 26, go 4 stoplights, turn right on Empire st., go 5 blocks, lcf is on right side.
FACTS ABOUT THE LITTLE CUBS FIELD PROJECT
1) There are 18,500 bricks in the stadium.
2) All the bricks were donated by Yankee Hill Bricks in Lincoln, Nebraska
3) Bricklayers Local #6, Rockford, Il. spent about 4 months laying all the brick in 2007—our cost was $120 in coffee and doughnuts. They have won 2 national awards for Little Cubs Field. They are our heroes.
4) The Adopt-a-Bricklayer program resulted in free hotel rooms and free lunch and dinner for the bricklayers while they worked here. Many came from over 100 miles away.
5) Over 175 companies have either donated or sharply discounted labor, materials, time and equipment to build Little Cubs Field.
6) The Carpenters Local 790 built the gift shop with no labor costs.
7) Little Cubs Field has the full support of the Chicago Cubs.
8) The Freeport Park District allowed us to lease the land for Little Cubs Field for $1 (for 5 years).
9) About 95% of the skilled and unskilled labor to build the field was donated.
10) To our knowledge, this is the only Little League field in the world especially designed with the entry level (7 and 8 year old) Little Leaguer in mind.
11) In the last few months, 4 other cities in the United States have inquired about building something similar to replicate their own team’s stadium.
12) There is one piece of ivy from Wrigley Field growing on the outfield wall of Little Cubs Field.
13) Only two people know where it is.
14) There is a penny imbedded halfway into the mortar at the top of the left field wall at Little Cubs Field, as a good luck charm, by the bricklayers.
15) Legend has it that a penny is in a similar place at Wrigley Field. To date, it has not been located.
16) All goats are welcome at Little Cubs Field. One small goat has already visited in October, 2007.
17) Since April, 2008, visitors have averaged about 700 per weekend at Little Cubs Field. These include visitors from 48 states and 27 countries. We estimate 30,000 have visited altogether.
18) The Freeport Little League has games at Little Cubs Field Monday through Friday at 6pm all summer.
19) This is the coolest baseball field for Little Leaguers ever built. There is an annual PeeWee Classic tourney for 8 year olds.
20) A major wiffleball tourney is scheduled here each year, the Freeport Chamber of Commerce Wiffleball Invasion.
21) This is the coolest wiffleball stadium ever built.
22) Bill Murray has purchased a caricature in the centerfield crowd mural.
23) Friends of Little Cubs Field is the non-profit group that operates Little Cubs Field.
24) Donations to the field are a tax deduction as we are a 501c3.
25) The field can be reserved for $45 per hour for birthday parties, corporate meetings, reunions, weddings (3 so far), church picnics, team baseball parties, etc.
26) The field is never rented for more than 2 straight hours, except for special events.
27) Little Cubs Field has ivy, bricks, grass, dirt, seats, and flags from Wrigley Field.
28) We intend for Little Cubs Field to be a venue where other non-profits can hold fundraisers for their causes.
29) Little Cubs Field was always intended to be the size it is. That is what makes it special.
30) When the bleachers are built, the scores on the bottom part of the scoreboard can be changed manually, via a catwalk that will go under it.
31) Naming rights to the bleachers are available. Talk to us.
32) Having the bleachers named after your corporation will make you the coolest corporation in the world.
33) Marya Veeck, the daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, planted the ivy at Little Cubs Field in 2007.
34) Bill Veeck planted the ivy at Wrigley Field in 1937.
35) Dutchie Caray threw out the first pitch for the first Little League game on April 28, 2008.
36) It was a strike.
37) Pete Vonachen, owner of the Peoria Chiefs, and Ryne Sandberg’s boss, gave the eulogy at Harry Caray’s funeral, and was the catcher of Dutchie’s pitch. Pete and Dutchie returned on July 18, 2009 to dedicate the Harry Caray Statue near the first base bleachers.
38) In October, 2007 dirt and grass from Wrigley Field was delivered free to Little Cubs Field. It is spread on the ivy, infield and near both dugouts.
39) We found window glass, tile, nails, and pieces of beer bottles from the early 1900’s in the dirt from Wrigley.
40) The first unofficial home run at Little Cubs Field was hit by Denny Garkey about one hour after the last brick was laid.
41) The first official Little League homerun was hit by an 8 year old from Palatine, Il. on June 1,2008. It is on Youtube. We have his autograph. His name is Scotty.
42) Admission to Little Cubs Field is always free.
43) No one is allowed to leave Little Cubs Field without having fun.
44) 34 features of Wrigley Field have been replicated. (No, not the troughs)
45) You can be part of Little Cubs Field by buying a paver (for in front of the gift shop) or a seat plate (displayed on the third base bleachers).
46) Our website is www.littlecubsfield.com You can rent the field via our website.
47) No one has hit a ball off the scoreboard in a regular game of Little League or wiffleball. (no one has done it at Wrigley either).
48) Visitors have included Lee Smith, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo (twice), Jay Johnstone, Dutchie Caray, and Pete Vonachen.
49) If you walk on the field, you become a kid again.
50) The first night game at Wrigley was re-enacted 8-8-08(20th anniversary) and the Cubs won 15-3, after a short fake rain delay.
51) Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover:Home Edition visited Little Cubs Field on September 17,2009. He hit 3 homers and pitched to many lucky kids.