Baseball for All: The Miracle League

The Miracle League allows anyone with any disability to play ball. This is made possible by volunteers, sponsors and unique complexes across the country.

The Miracle League allows anyone with any disability to play ball. This is made possible by volunteers, sponsors and unique complexes across the country.

Miracle League baseball fields are custom-designed with cushioned rubberized surfaces to help prevent injuries. The fields are completely flat to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players. The complexes also feature wheelchair-accessible dugouts, restrooms, concession stands and picnic pavilions.

A Miracle League field

A Miracle League field

Currently, 270 Miracle Leagues are located in 46 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Mexico. In 1998, there were 35 players in the league. In 2002, more than 250 players participated. To date, the Miracle League has more than 200,000 players with disabilities. This sports phenomenon is quickly growing in numbers and popularity.

The league has been televised on NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox Sports. In 2002, the Miracle League received the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, which is presented annually to a person or persons who have demonstrated leadership and volunteerism while making significant contributions in promoting peace and understanding and improving communication and cooperation between diverse populations. In 2006, the league was inducted into The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Eddie Bagwell, a coach for the Rockdale Youth Baseball Association (RYBA) in Conveys, Ga., invited the first child with a disability, a 7-year-old boy named Michael whose brother was on the team, to play on the team in 1997. In 1998, RYBA formed the Miracle League. In 1999, Dean Alford, president of the Rotary Miracle League Fund, the Rotary Clubs of Rockdale County and the city of Conyers formed the Rotary Miracle League Fund. The purpose of the organization is to raise funds necessary to build complexes with facilities that meet the special needs of the Miracle League players, and assist efforts to create Miracle Leagues across the country.

The Rules of the Miracle League

  • Every player bats once each inning
  • There are no strikeouts
  • All players are safe on all bases
  • Every player scores a run before the inning is over (the last one at bat gets a home run)

    Player at bat

    Player at bat

  • Community volunteers serve as “buddies” to assist the players
  • Each team and each player wins every game

Fields’ Surface Specifics by Surface America

  • Typical thickness is one-half inch
  • Base-layer options include asphalt or concrete
  • One-layer system: EPDM rubber & Aliphatic urethane binder
  • 100% latex free (verification provided upon request)
  • Porous
  • Custom designs available – logos, shapes, colors, etc.
  • Made from pre- and post-industrial recycled materials
  • Eligible for LEED® credits and state grants
  • 7-year warranty (industry’s longest & most comprehensive)

Volunteer or Join a League

To volunteer or join a league, contact the corporate office at (770) 760-1933 to find or be connected to a Miracle League in your area. You can also visit your area’s Miracle League website and fill out the proper forms.

Be a “Buddy”

Player and buddy rounding bases

Player and buddy rounding bases

Anyone interested in becoming a “buddy” should contact the corporate office at (770) 760-1933. “Buddies” commit to an eight-week season; two seasons are offered per year.

Start a League

To start a league, request a Miracle League starter kit from Stephanie@miracleleague.com. In the league-starting process, you will receive a step-by-step manual; build a support team in your community; fundraise for your field; build your Miracle League field (with the help of the National Miracle League office); and organize your teams to play ball.

Contact

The Miracle League Association
1506 Klondike Road – Suite 105
Conyers, GA  30094
Phone: (770) 760-1933
Fax: (770) 483-1223

Diane Alford, Executive Director

Email: diane@miracleleague.com

Cell phone: (770) 241-8694

Stephanie Davis, Program Director

Email: stephanie@miracleleague.com

Cell phone: (770) 241-2209

Johnny Franklin, League Development 

Email: johnny@miracleleague.com

Cell Phone: (256) 679-7447

Summary
Baseball for All: The Miracle League
Article Name
Baseball for All: The Miracle League
Description
The Miracle League makes it possible for players with disabilities to play baseball. Leagues span across several countries and feature completely flat, rubberized field surfaces that enable anyone with any disability to play ball.
Author
Publisher Name
Sports Planning Guide

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