It was all in the name of fun and nostalgia in advance of the NCAA Men’s College World Series.

For a week in early June, a vacant city block between towering office buildings downtown was transformed into a sandlot of yesteryear, complete with weathered wooden fencing, dugouts and chalk scoreboard.

Here, organizers found proof that if you build it,
they will come.

Baseball-loving families from all corners of the metro area, neighborhood kids with big-league dreams and spirited corporate teams all took to the field for a few innings of America’s favorite pastime – with plastic bats and Wiffle balls.

CWS of Omaha Inc. teamed up with the NCAA to present the project as a promotional event for the CWS. But the sandlot was meant to create memories and build camaraderie, which it did by all game reports!

2016 update: The third rendition of the diamond is at 67th Street and Mercy Road in Aksarben Village. It will remain open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through June 14.

This piece was an excerpt from Omaha: We Don’t Coast magazine, published by the Greater Omaha Chamber and the Omaha World-Herald. For more stories, click here.