Some 450 players, between the ages of 5 and 51, participate in the baseball games of the Miracle League of the Triangle, one of 200 such leagues in the U.S. and Canada, and the first in North Carolina. That’s 450 lives enhanced thanks to some generous-of-spirit volunteers.
And some players. The league has special needs kids and adults with different disabilities playing baseball in the area, helped by volunteers who take them to games, coach them and of course cheer them on. The idea, and what a great idea, started 10 years ago from developer Robin Rose and Tony Withers of Withers Ravenel Engineering, who’d seen a show about Miracle Leagues and helped to form the league. From 130 players in 2006 it’s grown to those 450 players now, and there are Miracle League in other North Carolina cities.
America’s pastime should of course be available to all Americans, and here is something that is yet another chance for those with disabilities to show they’re capable of engaging in athletics endeavors and, by the way, of having a whole lot of fun. And other baseball leagues might benefit from adopting a few of the Miracle League’s customs, such as having opposing teams cheer each other’s players when they step up to the bat. Here’s another great idea (it turns out, of many): Players get to choose their own nicknames and have their choice of music to be played when they walk up to bat.
So play ball, those of the Miracle League. Swing hard, run fast and always, always, cheer for the other team.