By Alli Mancani
Oftentimes, a disability can prevent a child from pursuing their athletic aspirations, but the Miracle League is doing its best to end this trend.
The Miracle League is an international baseball league that provides opportunities for all children to be able to play baseball, regardless of their ability. It makes it possible for all children with a disability, whether it be physical, mental or developmental, to achieve the same dream of playing baseball.
Palm Beach County is lucky enough to have their own chapter. Sports management professor Ted Curtis has been a part of the Miracle League of Palm Beach County for about 10 years now and serves as a board member. He has brought his love for the game to Lynn as the Miracle League is offered as a J-Term class.
“I first discovered the Miracle League when I was searching for a local sports-related charitable organization with which our students could work,” explained Curtis. “The moment I stepped foot onto the Miracle League field, I was all in. Seeing these wonderful children fulfill their dream to play baseball was all I needed to see to convince me this was the perfect organization for us.”
Over the years, there have been more than 200 Lynn students who have actively participated with Miracle League. Graduate student Omar Martinez was able to participate in the Miracle League for two years. He participated his freshman year and again his senior year as a peer leader.
“I loved it. The experience and people you get the chance to meet are incredible in every possible way, and it gives a sense of community and self-fulfillment that can’t be [achieved] very easily,” said Martinez. “I cherished every moment and would recommend everyone to execute these footsteps.”
The Palm Beach County Miracle League field is located in Delray Beach at Robert P. Miller Park. The field is specially designed with cushioned synthetic turf in order to help prevent injuries and the surface of the field is completely flat.
Some basic rules in The Miracle League are:
All players are welcome
All players bat each inning
All base runners are safe and score a run before the inning is over (the
last batter gets a home run)
Community children and volunteers serve as “buddies” to assist the players
Each team and player wins every game.
During the J-Term Citizen project, a perfectly-timed game takes place immediately after the fall season but right before the spring season. Half a dozen spring training games have already taken place and more than $10,000 has been raised for the organization. As a result, a Miracle League Cheer Team is now sponsored as well.
Professor Curtis is humbled as several of his students have reached out to him explaining how Miracle League was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences. Hunter Morris, who participated in the Miracle League his freshman year, was one of those students.
“My favorite part was watching them play and seeing the smiles on each child’s face as they rounded the bases; I was embracing the experience,” said Morris. “It made me open my eyes more and realize that my struggles are not as severe, obviously, as some of these children, while they are as happy as can be. Seeing the smiles on the parents’ faces as they cheered their child on was eye opening.”
Getting involved in the Miracle League is a great opportunity that promotes inclusivity for everyone. For more information, visit miracleleaguepbc.com. To get involved, contact Executive Director, Julia Kadel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.