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About Us2019-08-21T21:52:55+00:00

10 Years of Changing Lives

During the last 10 years, nearly 350 participants have played baseball through the Carolina Miracle League. These games are about more than innings and runs. Many of these children and teens would never have the opportunity to participate in organized sports if not for Miracle Park, which hosts games for players facing mental and physical challenges.

Through these shared experiences, participants benefit from increased physical activity, bolster their self-confidence, bond with others sharing similar challenges and have tremendous fun in the process. Families also benefit from the support network created through Carolina Miracle League, relying on each other for advice and resources. Each year, dozens of buddies from all walks of life also give of their time to support our players during games – running the bases, retrieving balls and providing assistance when needed.

If you haven’t yet experienced a game, either as a spectator or buddy, Carolina Miracle League invites you to experience this one-of-a-kind sporting event firsthand.

Who We Are

“Every Child Deserves the Chance to Play Baseball”

“The Miracle League” is a charitable organization that provides children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league. There is something about playing the game of baseball that lights up youngsters’ eyes, but for children facing mental and physical challenges, that opportunity can often be a difficult first step. The Miracle League gives these children the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and enjoy playing the game of baseball in its purest form.

Dylan can’t walk but that doesn’t stop him from rounding second base. Jennifer has Downs Syndrome, but the Miracle League has given her more self-esteem than her parents ever dreamed possible. Kaliegh can’t hear, but the cheers of his teammates have never been louder. The Miracle League gives hundreds of disabled children something few dreamed possible, the chance to play baseball. Yet in all their joy and triumph, there’s still one thing missing – the ability to play the sport like everyone else.

These kids needed a place to play, so a specially equipped field called the “Field of Dreams” was built in Atlanta, Georgia. This custom-designed venue incorporates a cushioned synthetic turf that accommodates wheelchairs and other walking assistance devices, while helping prevent injuries. In other words, it provides a level-playing field where physically and mentally challenged children can hit, run, and catch – just like the best of them.

During each Miracle League game, every child is given an opportunity to hit the ball and score a run. Miracle League team members are assigned “buddies” who assist them in hitting the ball and “running” the bases. Buddies can be fellow schoolmates, parents, college students, business leaders or anyone who wishes to volunteer his time to give a child the gift of baseball.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MEET OUR TEAM

Pam Dean
Pam DeanExecutive Director
Jennifer Swank
Jennifer SwankChairman / Bench Coach Coordinator
Sandra Gosnell
Sandra GosnellTreasurer
Casey Sumner
Casey SumnerPlayer Behavior Coordinator
Debbie White
Debbie WhiteSecretary
Neil Strange
Neil StrangeConcession and Equipment Coordinator
Tammy Painter
Tammy PainterDevelopment Coordinator
Jake Farkas
Jake FarkasCommunications Coordinator
Amy Hinson
Amy HinsonProgram Coordinator
Vivian James
Vivian JamesSpecial Events Administrator

OUR HISTORY

THE FIRST FIELD IN CONYERS, GEORGIA

According to Dean Alford, the first executive director of The Miracle League organization in Conyers, Georgia, the idea of building specially equipped baseball fields was born in Georgia when a boy in a wheelchair showed up to play in a youth baseball program. One of the coaches took the boy as a member of his team. After that, Georgia’s Rockdale Youth Baseball Association organized games for 35 players with special needs. Soon it became evident that, while the idea was extremely well received by the children and their families, conventional baseball fields were inadequate for children with disabilities.

The grassy turf was very difficult for their wheelchairs, walkers and braces to navigate and bumps and the irregular surface made moving around the field awkward and dangerous. This spawned the idea to build a field with a special surface that was safe and easy to navigate for those with disabilities. A field was designed with a custom synthetic turf and handicapped accessible dugouts, restrooms and drinking fountains. This was the beginning of what is now called The Miracle League.

The Miracle League is where physically and mentally challenged children are paired with able-bodied volunteer “buddies” who assist them in batting, catching, throwing and running. Every child gets a turn at bat and in the outfield and every child crosses home plate. The point of the game is less about baseball and more about fun! The benefits gained by everyone involved are tremendous. The child’s self esteem grows, he or she makes friends, becomes less isolated and “just becomes a regular kid, not a kid with a disability.”

Alford says, “The thing I have learned from these kids is that when you give a kid a ball, no matter what their abilities or disabilities, they will play with it, they will play together with other kids and they will try to do things they have never tried before,” he says. “Sports are important for kids of all ages and abilities and we have kids who are doing things at a level that doctors have said were impossible for them.”

“Seeing them so proud of themselves and so excited, seeing the smiles — that is worth all the effort.”

FREQUENLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I donate?2017-06-28T14:47:32+00:00

Our website support page as multiple ways for you to support our program.

Where can I purchase CML merchandise?2017-06-28T14:46:03+00:00

In our concessions building at Miracle Park.

How can I volunteer?2017-06-28T14:44:52+00:00

Go to our Volunteer page on our website and fill out the coach, bench coach, or buddy form.

What happens when it rains?2017-06-28T14:43:08+00:00

We cry and do NOT play in the rain. You will be contacted by either an email, text message or your coach with an announcement of cancellation.

Where is Carolina Miracle League park located?2017-06-28T14:42:13+00:00

In Boiling Springs at 1160 Old Furnace Road inside the North Spartanburg Complex.

Who are the buddies?2017-06-28T14:40:41+00:00

Many of our buddies are athletic teams from the local colleges and high schools. We train them before each game so they understand their duties and how to keep our players safe.

Will my child have help on the field?2017-06-28T14:40:01+00:00

Each player is provided one buddy that we provide unless the child is in a wheelchair then they get 2 buddies and if they need 2 buddies because of behavior or agility we will provide them.

Is it a safe environment for my special needs child?2017-06-28T14:39:22+00:00

We have a custom-built field with a rubber surface, the bases are painted on, not raised that can cause a problem for agility, we also have a 10 ft. fence that surrounds the field and keeps the players save and protected. We also have 3 trained bench coaches inside the dugs-outs for organization and safety.

How many games are played during the season?2017-06-28T14:38:40+00:00

Spring season plays 8 weeks, 1 game a week; Fall season plays 7 weeks, 1 game a week.

Which population can play in your league?2017-06-28T14:37:56+00:00

Any players that has physical and/or mental disabilities can play. If the player is not able to play on a regular team – they will probably meet our requirements.

What is the cost?2017-06-28T14:36:52+00:00

Registration fee is $40 and includes, uniform top, hat, insurance, and trophy or medal.

How long is a game?2017-06-28T14:35:57+00:00

Games run 1 hour which is 2 innings of play.

When do you play?2017-06-28T14:35:14+00:00

Spring Season starts in May; Fall Season starts in September.

When are games?2017-06-28T14:34:24+00:00

Monday for older players; Thursday for all new and younger players.

Are there practices?2017-06-28T14:33:49+00:00

We do not practice.

What is the starting age?2017-06-28T14:32:14+00:00

Players must be age 5 by Opening Day of each season.