League of Miracles

Over the years, the mission of the Hartford Council for Recreation has been to impact the youth of the communities we serve in a positive manner. One of the positive, unique initiatives we bring into our community is the League of Miracles. The League of Miracles, first brought to Indian Pride Park during the summer of 2012, is a league dedicated to those who suffer from medical or mental disabilities that keep players from participating in competitive baseball and softball. The League of Miracles program allows players the opportunity to still play the sport they love with their peers. Over the past several summers, players have experienced excitement, fun and joy crossing home plate and enjoying America’s favorite pastime, all while creating life long, lasting friendships and memories. As a community based organization, we are honored to offer a league for everyone!

Our organization feels that every child or young adult should receive an equal opportunity to get out and enjoy the game of baseball or softball and be able to have fun, no matter what challenges or obstacles someone may face in their everyday lives. That is why we have joined more than 300 other organizations across the world that has united in support of the Miracle League and the initiatives and philosophies that the Miracle League was founded and built on.

If you are interested in joining this life changing endeavor with us, whether as a volunteer coach, being a buddy for one of our players, sponsoring the League of Miracles or just wanting to learn more information, please contact Sandy Burtchett, League of Miracles Director, at (269) 207-8501 or by e-mail at sandyburtchett@yahoo.com. We appreciate the support given to us from the local community in support of this truly gratifying endeavor!

ABOUT THE MIRACLE LEAGUE

There is something about playing the game that lights up a person’s eyes. But for children and adults 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 adults arise from the natural grass fields used in conventional 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 athletes. 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 and adults who suffer from any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded, whether intentionally or not, from conventional Baseball leagues.

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, Illinois, and California. There are presently 240 plus Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico and Canada, while serving 200,000 plus children and adults.

The Miracle League has an aggressive plan to help local communities build Miracle League complexes around the globe.

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.

(Above information gathered from the Miracle League Website)

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