Far Afield: Hidden Gems Across the United States
The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club is a "whimsical replica" of Wimbledon, as the court's creator puts it.
Grass tennis courts are rare in the United States, and farmer Mark Kuhn's creation is an even rarer non-private lawn.
At the Long Time, a sandlot baseball field near Austin, the score isn't as important as the vibe.
Hand-painted signs give the Long Time a nostalgic, rustic feel.
Kentucky's Lakeside Swim Club has produced a staggering number of Olympic swimmers, including a Tokyo 2020 medalist.
Lakeside is known for its competitive pedigree, but the converted rock quarry is just as famous for its gorgeous setting amid 40-foot cliffs.
Elston Gene Howard Field, named for the Yankees' first Black player, is built in the shadow of the team's new stadium—and aligns with the original House that Ruth Built.
There are three diamonds at the Bronx park for baseball and softball, one of which features a piece of the original Yankee Stadium facade.
Detroit City FC plays its home games at Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium, which the club's supporters helped rebuild.
After going fully pro in 2020, third-division Detroit City FC has won multiple trophies, including a 2021 league title.
The diamond portrayed in the 1989 film "Field of Dreams" is the quintessential hidden gem, but the film site is now a popular tourist attraction—and in August, hosted a Major League Baseball game.
Thousands of fans watched the White Sox and Yankees compete in MLB's Field of Dreams game this summer.
There are few basketball courts like Rucker Park in New York City. In the 1960s and ’70s, future NBA legends like Earl Monroe and Julius Erving took on the city’s street elite in playground director Holcombe Rucker’s summer tournament.
Rucker Park had humble beginnings, but the blacktop is now famous across the hoops world.
Retired farmer Mark Kuhn, who started building his grass court in 2002, spends around 12 hours a week maintaining the All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club.
Kuhn was first drawn to tennis as a boy, when he heard a broadcast of Wimbledon over his grandfather's radio.
The Texas Playboys, a team of artists and creative types, plays their home games at the Long Time.
Hundreds of Texas Playboys season-ticket holders come not only to watch the Playboys face teams from around the region but also to catch whatever other performances might be in store from a club full of creatives—say, an acoustic set from a player’s new record during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Lakeside SeaHawks are the Louisville club's top-flight swim team.
There's nothing quite like Lakeside's converted rock quarry. “Either you’ve been there, or you want to go there," says Arizona State swim coach Bob Bowman, who mentored Michael Phelps to a record 23 Olympic gold medals
Kids in the Bronx are able to run in the footsteps of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter at Elston Gene Howard Field, which is part of Macombs Dam Park.
A sign behind the backstop of one diamond at Elston Howard Field quotes Lou Gehrig's famous speech: "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
Detroit City FC's branded beer is Smoke Delay IPA, named for the—you guessed it–fan-induced smoke delays that often accompany home matches.
Detroit City FC's Northern Guard marches half a mile through Hamtramck to Keyworth Stadium on match days.
The White Sox beat the Yankees in this year's Field of Dreams game.
Over the years, Rucker Park has become world-famous. Bill Clinton and David Stern even stopped by in 2001 for the Entertainers Basketball Classic, which carries on the old Rucker tournament’s legacy.
Texas Playboys founder (and pitcher) Jack Sanders is also the Long Time's designer. He never stops tinkering with the ballpark's layout.
The Long Time is popular enough around Austin that the ballpark has sponsors and offers concessions.
Lakeside Swim Club has produced 11 Olympians over the years, including 2020 silver medalist Brooke Forde.
Thousands of tennis players have flocked to Kuhn's farm to play on the family's grass court, including University of Iowa associate tennis coach Daniel Leitner.
These days, the All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club is also a tribute to Kuhn's late son, Alex.
All that remains of New York’s Polo Grounds is a set of stairs that descends Coogan’s Bluff down to the housing complex that stands where the ballpark once did. Originally built in 1913, the John T. Brush stairway, named for the Giants’ owner who died in 1912, led down to a ticket booth.
The Detroit City Futbol League, a coed adult circuit, predates the club's senior team and includes volunteering incentives that can impact the standings.
Keyworth Stadium, the first Works Progress Administration project in Michigan, was opened in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.