Miracle League of Vancouver Washington
The Miracle League” is a charitable organization that provides children with disabilities 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 those with disabilities, that opportunity can often be a difficult first step. Grass fields and baseball diamonds weren’t exactly designed with wheelchairs and crutches in mind. The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children and adults with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field by providing the opportunity for these individuals to get outside, and enjoy playing the game of baseball in its purest form.
During each Miracle League game, every player 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 their time to give a child the gift of baseball.
Since 2007 The Miracle League of Vancouver Washington has been providing children and adults with special needs the opportunity to play baseball in an organized program. In the time since it played its first games in 2007, the league has grown from a handful of players to 120. The dream is of a day when the league can reach many more thousands of children and adults in Clark County living with disabilities. As of today we are in the process of getting funding to build two fields at Pacific Community Park in east Vancouver. In the meantime our practices and games are being played at Union High School Fields. We will be playing both spring and fall seasons at the fields which will accommodate our youngest player (5) and oldest at 48. Every player is matched with a different buddy for each game during the season and each buddy is paired with the player based on his or her unique needs. Our mission is to ensure that every participant walks away saying they had a great day!
Our roots come from the 1997 Rockdale Youth Baseball Association. Whose coach, Eddie Bagwell invited the first disabled child, Michael Moore to play baseball on his team; Watching this 7 year old in his wheelchair attending every game and practice, while cheering on his 5 year old brother play America’s favorite pass-time. In 1998, the Rockdale Youth Baseball Association (RYBA) formed the first “Miracle League” to further its mission of providing opportunities for all children to play baseball regardless of their ability. The league began with 35 players on four teams that first year. Word spread and by 2002, many other leagues were being organized across the country. Now Miracle League has 260 plus organizations across the country including Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia serving over 200,000 children and young adults.