There is something about playing the game that light up a youngster’s eyes. But for children facing serious physical and mental disabilities that opportunity can often be difficult to achieve. Baseball diamonds weren’t exactly designed with wheelchairs and crutches in mind.
The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. Since the main barriers for these children arise from the natural grass fields used in conventional youth leagues, Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping to prevent injuries.
But it’s more than playing a game. The Miracle League is about making new friends, building self-esteem and being treated just like other kids. To help the athletes, the Miracle League uses a “buddy” system – pairing each player with an able-bodied peer. The result is a bond that cannot be described. The Miracle League serves children who suffer from any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded—whether intentionally or not--from conventional youth Baseball leagues. According to the 2000 Census Bureau’s states there are 5.2 million Children in our country who have disabilities between the ages of 5 and 19 and with young adults that number increases substantially.
The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Georgia in April 2000. Word spread and by 2002, fields opened in South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Chicago, and California. There are presently 225 plus Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico and Canada. while serving 100,000 plus children and young adults.
The Miracle League has an aggressive plan to help local communities build Miracle League complexes around the globe. As we plan to help build our first 500 fields which will serve 1.3 million children with disabilities.
Our players may not be able to run the bases or hit the ball as well as some of their peers, but they have an equal amount of love and determination to play baseball. We want to help them achieve that dream.