MIRACLE LEAGUE BALL FIELD IN BLAINE, MN OPENING DAY ANNOUNCED

Opening Day Ceremony For New Ball Field Serving Youth With Physical and Mental Disabilities Scheduled for Saturday, May 6th

MINNEAPOLIS – ST. PAUL, MN – The Miracle League of Minnesota, Minnesota Twins Community Fund, in partnership with the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation, Minnesota Utility Contractors Association (MUCA) and City of Blaine (MN), have announced plans for an Opening Day ceremony to kick-off the first season of the Miracle League of Minnesota our new synthetic turf baseball field in Blaine serving youth with special needs. The Opening Day ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Blaine Baseball Complex located at 1150 Paul Parkway. Scheduled to participate in the ceremony are representatives from the Miracle Leagues in Blaine, Mankato, Duluth, Rochester and Minnetonka, as well as Twins’representatives, City of Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan, representatives from MUCA, Executive Director of the National Miracle League Diane Alford, and our Corporate Partner this year, Subway.

The custom-designed field can accommodate wheelchairs and other walking assistance devices, while helping prevent injuries. The field has been constructed with financial contributions of $20,000 from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and $130,000 from the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation. In-kind support, including heavy equipment and labor costs totaling more than $100,000 were donated by members of MUCA. The City of Blaine donated the land and will be responsible for field maintenance. This field is a state-of-the-art ball field in Minnesota giving special needs youth from around the region a unique opportunity to experience the joys of playing baseball.

The field will support the activities of TheMiracle League, a charitable organization headquartered in Georgia with a Minnesota chapter, whose mission is to provide “Every child an opportunity to play baseball.” The Miracle League is currently working with Upper Midwest non-profit organizations to organize youth teams. Individuals or organizations interested in joining a Miracle League team should contact 952-851-7133 or visit www.miracleleaguemn.com.

MIRACLE LEAGUE OPENING DAY PARKING May 6th

The parking facilities immediately adjacent to the ball field hold about 200 cars. If these parking spots fill up, overflow parking is available at Blainebrook Bowl located at Paul Parkway and Central Ave. Link to Google Map to Blainebrook. This is approximately a 1/3 mile walk.

We will have an exciting event with numerous participants, guests and visitors. Please allow plenty of time as not to miss a single moment!

Wheelchair ball field gets initial OK

Field to be part of Caswell Park expansion

By Mark Fischenich
The Free Press

NORTH MANKATO — The third Miracle League ballpark in Minnesota is likely to be built adjacent to North Mankato’s Caswell Park, possibly as early as this summer, after the City Council gave the organization its approval Monday night.

The Miracle League field, expected to cost $225,000, will be constructed with a rubberized hard surface infield and outfield to make baseball more accessible — and safer — for kids who use wheelchairs. More than 40 of the specialized fields have been built nationwide since the Miracle League began in the Atlanta, Ga., area in 1998.

While the city would provide the land, the construction costs will be raised through fund-raising and corporate donations, including by the Minnesota Twins organization, said Kevin Thoresen, founder of the Miracle League of Minnesota.

Former Twins infielder Ron Coomer, who serves on the Minnesota Miracle League’s board of directors, and at least one other retired Major Leaguer will help raise money for the North Mankato facility.

“He and Terry Steinbach are committed to helping build this specific facility,” Thoresen told the City Council.

There are as many as 7,000 kids in south-central Minnesota with a variety of disabilities ranging from blindness to cerebral palsy to asthma who would be candidates for Miracle League teams, according to Thoresen.

“Our mission is to give every one of those kids the opportunity to play baseball,” he said.

Joanne Hovey-McBride, who works for Southern Minnesota Independent Living Enterprises and Services in Mankato, already has 25 kids playing on a pair of Miracle League teams on traditional ballfields. With the completion of the specialty field, the number of participants could quadruple, Hovey-McBride told the council.

“We could easily have 100,” she said. “We could easily have over 100.”

The state’s first field was completed in October in Blaine. Rochester is well on the way toward raising the needed funds to build a second field this summer. The North Mankato field could be in place just after Rochester’s because of the commitment by the Twins, other corporate sponsors and the Minnesota Utility Contractors Association — which is expected to do much of the construction for free, Thoresen said.

North Mankato officials demonstrated their support by making the Miracle League field the first piece of a new 12-acre expansion of Caswell Park. While the city has penciled in dual-use baseball/softball diamonds and hockey rinks for a large part of the 12 acres, that may change as planning moves beyond the early brain-storming stage.

Mayor Gary Zellmer admitted some skepticism when the Miracle League officials first approached the city a year ago promising to raise all of the construction costs for a field.

“It seemed like a far-fetched idea,” Zellmer said. “... But you’ve done everything you said you were going to do.”

Although a public fund-raising campaign is coming, Thoresen said people interested in donating — and those who might like to play in the league or volunteer to assist kids play — can get more information at the Web site www
.miracleleaguemn.com.

 
       
       
       
       
  The Miracle League is off and running...at full speed.  
       
   

The Miracle League is off and running...at full speed. We have completed construction of the very first Miracle League field for Minnesota in Blaine. The Pohlad Family Foundation, The Minnesota Twins, and the members of the Minnesota Utility Contractors Association all contributed in making the field a reality. Construction took a little over 60 days and, as you can see by the picture, it is a “field of dreams”. Our grand opening day for the field and the league in Blaine is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2006. All of our leagues will be there celebrating and playing on the Miracle League field. Following the grand opening events, we will all be headed to the Metrodome to watch the big boys play (the Minnesota Twins).

We have more news from our other members of the Miracle League community. In Mankato, the city of North Mankato has just completed the acquisition of land where another Miracle League field is to be built. We are working with the S.M.I.L.E.S. Miracle League on this project to make their field a reality. S.M.I.L.E.S. has been playing in a league of their own for 11 years and last year joined the Miracle League.

In Duluth, Ed Gleason and the Twinports Miracle League are very close to having their land for the field. Twinports Buddysports has been operational for a number of years serving the Twinports area and last summer became a part of the Miracle League.

In Minnetonka, they have just announced a campaign called “Miracle at Bennett”, where land has been set aside to build the Twin Cities’ second Miracle League field. In 2006, Bennett Park will be celebrating 50 years of existence and the Miracle League will be the cornerstone of an expansion of Bennett Park.

Lastly, but with tremendous excitement, Rochester has announced their plan for a Miracle League field. Land has been donated from the city where a brand new baseball complex will be built. The construction will be completed this summer, and they will be playing this summer in Rochester.

The momentum is growing. Come join us to Play, Volunteer, or Donate by clicking on the Contact Us tab or by calling 952-851-7133.

 
 
   
 
Twins Community Fund to Help Build MIRACLE LEAGUE Ball Field in Blaine, MN
 
     
 

Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Ball Field Serving Youth With Physical and Mental Disabilities Scheduled for Friday, August 19

MINNEAPOLIS – ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins Community Fund, in partnership with the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Founda tion, Minnesota Utility Contractors Associa tion (MUCA) and City of Blaine (MN), have announced plans for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off construc tion of a new synthetic turf baseball field in Blaine serving youth with physical and mental disabilities. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday, August 19 at 11 a.m. at the Blaine Baseball Complex located at 1150 Paul Parkway. Scheduled to participate in the ceremony are representatives from a youth wheelchair softball team from Courage Center, Twins’ ownership representative Jim Pohlad, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Twins pitcher Kyle Lohse, and National Baseball Hall of Famer and Twins great, Harmon Killebrew.

The custom-designed field will accommodate wheelchairs and other walking assistance devices, while helping prevent injuries. The field is being constructed with financial contribu tions of $20,000 from the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and $130,000 from the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation. In-kind support, including heavy equipment and labor costs totaling more than $100,000 will be donated by members of MUCA (see below for a list of participating MUCA members). The City of Blaine is donating land and will be responsible for field maintenance.

“This project is made possible by a tremendous collaboration from the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said Jeff Hanson, Executive Director of MUCA and a member of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund board of directors. “The result will be a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art ball field in Minnesota giving special needs youth from around the region a unique opportunity to experience the joys of playing ball.”

The field is scheduled for comple tion this fall and will be available for play starting in the spring of 2006. The field will support the activities of TheMiracle League, a charitable organiza tion headquartered in Georgia with a Minnesota chapter, providing children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball in an organized league. The Miracle League is currently working with Upper Midwest nonprofit organiza tions to organize youth teams. Individuals or organiza tions interested in joining a Miracle League team should contact 952-851-7133 or visit www.miracleleaguemn.com.

Established as a nonprofit organiza tion in 1991, the mission of the Twins Community Fund is to enrich local and regional communities by providing resources for the healthy development of children and families through an associa tion with baseball, softball and the Minnesota Twins. The Twins Community Fund is governed by a board of directors consisting of a majority of members from the community. For more informa tion about the Twins Community Fund call 800-33-TWINS or visit the team’s official website at www.twinsbaseball.com.

Minnesota Utility Contractors Associa tion

Miracle League Field ( Blaine, MN)

In-Kind Contributors

American Engineering Testing, Inc.

Arcon Construc tion

Belair Excavating
Carl Bolander & Sons

Bituminous Roadways

Bonestroo & Associates

C.W. Houle

Cobb Strecker and Ess Brothers

Collisys

Doboszenski & Sons

Frattalone Companies

Gary Carlson Equipment

Lube Tech

Nodland Construc tion

North Pine Aggregate

Northern Waterworks

Quam Construc tion

RDO Equipment

Rehbein Companies

Terra Services

Three Rivers Construc tion

Veit Companies

Zeigler

 
 
 

Time for Kids features Miracle League of Minnesota.

Time for Kids, a version of Time magazine for kids in grades 4-7, recently ran an article on the Miracle League. This national magazine, issued 4 times during the school year, discusses the excitement that kids have towards baseball -- kids who just happen to have disablibilities.

The article talks about the strong partnership between MLMN and the MN Twins, as well as the generosity of the Twins organization.

To read the article, see

New Field of Dreams - 29-Apr-2005
A baseball league for very special players


Miracle League of Minnesota Unveiled at "Play Ball Minnesota"

At the very first Play Ball! Minnesota conference, the host, The Minnesota Twins Community Fund, made two big announcements before the 500+ youth coaches:.

  • The Miracle League of Minnesota is the newest member of Play Ball! Minnesota.
  • The Minnesota Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Foundation will fund the inaugural Miracle League field built in Minnesota. The field, located in Blaine will be under construction this summer with a completion date before summers end. The estimated cost of construction is between $125,000 and $150,000.

MLMN, and especially the kids who will play ball! there, can't thank the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation enough! But we can try:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

 
   

Communities join the Miracle League of Minnesota, Inc.

The cities of North Mankato, Blaine, and Minnetonka have all submitted Letters of Intent to join the Miracle League and build the state of Minnesota’s first Miracle League fields. SMILES (Southern Minnesota Independent Living Enterprises & Services, Inc.) was the first community to join the Miracle League. Now known as SMILES Miracle League Baseball Association, has offered a youth softball program for the past eleven years on traditional baseball fields. For more information click here

The Miracle League of Minnesota, Inc. is working closely with the City of North Mankato to secure a site to begin construction on that community’s Miracle League field.

The Minnetonka Diamond Club and the Bennett Family Park is celebrating it’s 50th year of providing children within 10 communities, the opportunity to enjoy a place to play baseball and softball. The Bennett Family and the representatives of the Minnetonka Diamond Club recently presented a partnership proposal to the City of Minnetonka for a park “makeover” which would help meet the needs for additional regulation field play time, as well as be a site for a Miracle League field.

Lastly, the City of Blaine has committed to a site near the National Blaine Sports Complex facility. The City of Blaine will most likely be the site of the “first” Miracle League field. Following the successful completion of mandatory soil testing, construction could begin as early as May, 2005.

For more information on how to become a Miracle League player, click here

 
       
Copyright 2005 Miracle League of Minnesota