Tucked away in a dirt road-lined Plymouth Township neighborhood blessed by towering oak trees rests Michigan’s own version of The Field of Dreams.
The remarkable creation of Canton High School and University of Michigan alum Eddie Zajdel, a pristine Wiffle Ball field covers two-thirds of the Zajdel family’s sprawling backyard.
There are high-level LCD light standards situated by the foul poles in left and right fields — and in straight-away center field, which is 70 feet from home plate — which allow for well-lit night games.
There is seating on a deck that runs along the third base line and chairs just behind the right-center field fence.
Americana at its finest
An American flag hangs prominently just past the center-field fence.
Its perfectly-manicured grass is the product of seed that is used on many of the elite golf courses in the United States — and the care Zajdel provides the dazzling diamond is nothing short of masterful.
Trust me on this: Pictures of the gem do not do it justice.
“Even before it looked like this, people who saw it for the first time were blown away,” said Zajdel, who began his top-level backyard groundskeeping project when he was 14 years old.
“As far as my research has shown, there is not a backyard field like this anywhere else in the United States — or the world, for that matter. It’s seeded with 007 Bentgrass, which is used on top golf courses.
“Arguably, the surface of the field is nicer than some Major League Baseball stadiums.”
Once you see it in person — like I did Wednesday night — you realize Zajdel is not exaggerating.
Mowed at least every other day by Zajdel, the field is the closest thing to a living carpet you’ll ever step foot on — which few people have done the past several months.
“We’ve had one official game this year,” he said. “It’s almost like a work of art. Some nights, my friends and I will sit out here on the deck by the field and just chill.”
During the COVID years, Zajdel and his dad, Ed, renovated the nearby garage, enhancing it with a lights-out bar and two restrooms (one for employees only) — and a second-story clubhouse where teams can chill before taking the field and meet for post-game gatherings.
Zajdel’s pride and joy has gained tons of media attention. Fox 2 News produced a feature on the field several years ago that got the attention of Detroit Tigers head groundkeeper Heather Nabozny, who reached out to Zajdel and helped him connect with the world’s top grass-growers.
Zajdel said a special blend of dirt was trucked in for the field’s infield.
A nationwide audience
The field is about to generate national attention.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, at 6:40 p.m., a five-inning Wiffle Ball game will unfold on the field.
Multiple high-tech cameras stationed on the field’s perimeter will capture the game’s action.
Zajdel, who owns Zajdel Studios, a social media and commercial video agency, and a team of creators will edit the footage of the live taping called Showcase Under the Lights, which will be distributed nationally via Tubi (74 million subscribers) and Prime Video (67 million subscribers).
The show will also be available online, Zajdel added.
“Nothing like the live taping of a backyard sporting event has ever been distributed to such a large audience before,” said Zajdel.
“It’s an historic event and one that we hope leads to more events like it.”
Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.