DENVER (CBS4) – A man who grew up playing baseball as a child in North Dakota is seeing a dream come true. He’s trying to make sure that other children can grow up with similar memories.
Mark Danuser has turned a forgotten piece of property just off Interstate 25 and 58th into his own field of dreams. His love of baseball made it all happen.
“I’d look over from the highway and see the backstop,” Danuser said. “After a number of times driving by I decided to do a little detective work and investigate.”
Danuser made a couple calls and found out the ball field was part of the old Mapleton High School that had closed down in 1988.
“I think I might have taken his original phone call,” said Don Herman, Chief of Operations for the Mapleton School District.
Herman knows all about the field.
“We talked for a while about how the field was and wasn’t being used, which mostly it wasn’t being used at all,” Herman said.
“And they said, ‘What do you propose?’ And at the time I didn’t have a proposal,” Danuser said.
He soon did, and dreamed about restoring the field and making it a place for children, families and baseball fans of all ages.
“A lot of sports, after high school, there’s just no place to go,” Danuser said.
Next thing he knew a lease was signed and work was under way to build it, and just like the movie line — see if they’d come.
“And I guess I’ve had to had faith that will come true,” Danuser said.
The truth is, Danuser has seen his dreams extend to an impressive indoor space also with a throwing area, hitting stations, and a state-of-the-art batting simulator. His new business is called Here to Play, and he’s invited Mapleton’s Skyview baseball team to play there for free.
About 200 friends and colleagues celebrated Danuser’s “field of dreams” Saturday evening. Here to Play opens to the public on Tuesday.