For the past several months, Steven Schapansky has been toiling over his kitchen table, building a detailed Lego model baseball park that is very similar to one in Edmonton that may soon be demolished.
Schapansky started building the Lego model, calling it "Clutchers FIeld" back in September. He said he drew inspiration from Telus Field, which he describes as one of the city’s “crown jewels.”
“What I like about Telus Field is that it’s a stadium that’s nestled into the neighbourhood,” he said. His model is similar, he adds, in that it has to exist in his “kitchen neighbourhood.”
“I was inspired by the fact that we have a baseball park in Edmonton that sadly does not get used as much as it should,” he said. “I wanted to sort of have a ball park on hand that I could look at everyday.”
Schapansky’s Lego model is extremely detailed. Not only are there two teams scattered across the field but there are also concession stands, restaurants, a scoreboard, a hall of fame and even an old building that Schapansky imagines existed before the park was built.
The future of Telus Field remains uncertain after the city revealed it may be demolished as part of a plan to redevelop the Rossdale area in Edmonton.
The 9,000-seat park was once home to the Edmonton Trappers, a triple-A professional team in the Pacific Coastal League, but in the last decade, baseball in Edmonton hasn’t been very successful.
Future of Telus Field in question
Schapansky says if Telus Field is eventually demolished, it would be a “tragedy” for the city.
“Once that baseball park is town down, there likely won’t be another one built,” he said. “To tear down Telus Field would mean to end baseball in Edmonton. It has a long history and tradition dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. To get rid of it would be a shame.”
Many people agree with him.
“I think Telus Field gives Edmonton an extra dimension,” said Felix Fridman. “It’s another event, something that allows people to get out an enjoy a nice afternoon in our short summers.”
“I don’t see any reason to tear it down,” said Mike Wynnyk.
“I think the ball park belongs where it is,” said Schapansky. “It’s such a great view of the River Valley when you’re in there. All great ball parks — Wrigley Field, Fenway Park — exist in neighbourhoods… It’s at a perfect location as it is right now.”
In the meantime, Schapansky has been discussing it with his wife and thinking about ways he could preserve the baseball park sitting in his home.
“It will be a sad day when I tear this down, just like it would be a sad day if they tore down Telus Field.”