For a child with special needs, playing baseball with other boys and girls is a dream come true. Thanks to the Miracle League those dreams can become a reality.
The Miracle League is a nonprofit organization sponsored by local Kiwanis clubs operating during the spring and fall as a baseball league for children with special needs. This one-of-a-kind program provides a safe, encouraging environment for children with disabilities to participate in a team sport, many for the first time in their lives.
Anyone who has seen the program in action knows that the Miracle League is much more than an ordinary baseball league. It’s an experience of sheer joy, made possible by a community of players, parents, and volunteers.
Miracle League teams do not exceed 15 players, and games are noncompetitive, lasting approximately one hour. Volunteer coaches and “buddies” work one-on-one with the children, emphasizing safety and fun. Each player experiences the thrill of batting and scoring one run per inning.
The league welcomes all school-age children with any diagnosed disability — cognitive or physical. Fall season lasts from September through October, and spring games are played May through June.
There are two Des Moines-area Miracle League fields: 529 SW 5th Street in downtown Des Moines and 700 W. 1st Street in Ankeny. Which also includes an all-inclusive playground. Plans are currently underway in Urbandale to build a Miracle Field.
The Miracle League is always looking for new volunteer coaches, umpires, game announcers, and “buddies.” You can also attend games to cheer the players on. For more information visit their websites http://kiwanismiracleleague.org/ and http://www.ankenymiracleleague.com/.
Have you had the opportunity to join in the fun at a Miracle League baseball game?