Every Child Deserves a
Chance to Play Baseball
"The Miracle League" is a charitable organization that provides children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league. There is something about playing the game of baseball that lights up kid's eyes, but for children facing physical and mental challenges, that opportunity can often be a difficult first step. The Miracle League gives these children the opportunity to get out in the sunshine, and enjoy playing the game of baseball in its purest form.
Dylan can’t walk but that doesn’t stop him from rounding second base. Jennifer has Downs Syndrome, but the Miracle League has given her more self-esteem than her parents ever dreamed possible. Kaliegh can’t hear, but the cheers of his teammates have never been louder. The Miracle League gives hundreds of disabled children something few dreamed possible, the chance to play baseball. Yet in all their joy and triumph, there’s still one thing missing - the ability to play the sport like everyone else.
These kids needed a place to play, so a specially equipped field called the "Field of Dreams" was built in Atlanta Georgia. This custom-designed venue incorporates a cushioned synthetic turf that accommodates wheelchairs and other walking assistance devices, while helping prevent injuries. In other words, it provides a level-playing field where physically and mentally challenged children can hit, run, and catch- just like the best of them.
The Miracle League provides every child an opportunity to hit the ball and score a run. Miracle League team members are assigned “buddies” who assist them in hitting the ball and "running" the bases. Buddies can be fellow schoolmates, parents, college students, business leaders or anyone who wishes to volunteer their time to give a child the gift of baseball.
Rarely does one get to witness history in the making. Witness the creation of The Miracle League, Minnesota style. MLMN (doesn't roll off the tongue, but that's the acronym for The Miracle League of Minnesota), began only a few short months ago. Unlike water skiing, or roller blades (invented right here in Minnesota), the first Miracle League, launched in Rockdale County, Georgia in 1997. Want to find out more about The Miracle League? Quite a bit more? Do a google search on "Miracle League". I just tried it and it returned: Results: 1 - 10 of about 6,960 for "Miracle League". (0.04 seconds)
I still think about all the kids not
playing baseball, and having just run into a
seasoned 15 year coach, who told me “these kids are
truly the essence of our great game of baseball,
they just love it for what it is”. The determined
look on the player who throws his crutches aside and
on his knees says to me “ Can I pitch”, or the 2 six
year old twins who are totally exhausted because of
their disability after 1 inning, but tell their
parents “we have to keep playing, the team is
depending on us” can only happen when all kids get a
chance.. With over 80,000 kids with special needs in
our Northland are, we are just getting started
It seems to me, my part is very small in getting the
Miracle League started, to see what we can do. When
you are a dreamer all of your life and open minded
to what can be, how can something called the Miracle
League not be your calling. 5 years ago when I
innocently began this quest to provide a league and
fields for all kids with special needs to play
baseball in the North Country, to listen to others
on why it couldn’t happen would have been
short-sided, and to dream what was possible was all
that I could imagine.
And so with 11 fields complete and 2 more in
development, we have more dreams to dream, and what
we can become.
All they need, is an opportunity to be believed in,
to create joy for this great game, and a moment for
a kid to be a player, when most often, never given
the chance. To see the shock of a mother when their
son/daughter makes contact at the bat, is the same
thrill when on the biggest stage the professionals
do it for real. For it is awe that they show, almost
disbelief, that they can do it on their own. For
Moms and Dads, it’s this wonderful respite, to see
your kid being a kid, and a special day to be a fan!
Who are these “Buddies” I talk about. The fabulous
volunteers that guide our special ballplayers
through our game. Sometimes with fielding, throwing,
or batting help, and yet realizing each of our
players has special gifts, just like themselves,
If it makes you curious it should, Harmon was, and
he decided to play, and so did the mighty Twins too,
our Miracle League is about miraculous players, and
Buddies, and great Coaches too. It’s our national
pastime, baseball you know, come and join us, “at
our Big Show”.