LI man donates Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field replicas to Baseball Hall of Fame

It's a story that News 12 first brought you in 1991 -- and now there's a big update.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2021, 2:43 AM

Updated 1,118 days ago


Thirty years later, we're checking back in on a Stony Brook man whose passion for baseball has caught the eye of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Baseball fans will have the chance to marvel at lifelong Yankee fan Brad Merila's miniature version of the House that Ruth Built -- Yankee Stadium. The model has over 500,000 pieces to it, including balsa wood, jewelry beads, paper clips, staples, straws and more.
It was modeled after how the old Yankee Stadium looked in 1973, just prior to its major renovation.
The work that went into it was no small task. Merila says he started when he was 13 and didn't finish until he was 30. And when he finished, News 12's Doug Geed highlighted to achievement in 1991.
Merila told News 12 his replica work went down to counting how many lights in a tower or roaming the stands to see how many seats were in a section to make it as accurate as possible.
And right next to Merila's Yankee Stadium is a replica of Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He did that stadium as a tribute to his dad, a long-suffering Dodgers fan who visited the old ballpark many times.
Now in 2021, Merila is donating the models to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
"Hopefully sometime this month I'll be delivering them personally up there and it's a permanent display," he says.
The only changes Merila made to his creations over these three decades are to the grass. They faded and turned a little brown, so he gave them a re-sodding before their trip up to Cooperstown.
"I'll miss them, but you know what, I think they'll be -- for lack of a better term -- in a better place," says Merila. "They'll be enjoyed by fans for generations to come rather than sitting here and collecting dust."

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