GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was “play ball” for kids across Western New York Saturday. The Miracle League provides an opportunity for kids with mental or physical challenges to play baseball. With a specially designed turf field that accommodates wheelchairs, crutches and walkers, the league gives everyone a chance to learn the game.
For Karla Barber from Niagara Falls, it’s the fourth year her two daughters have participated in the league. She Said, “They say that every child deserves a chance to play baseball.”
Kids of all abilities teamed up with the Buffalo Bisons to get some tips on the field. League President RJ Wynne said, “It’s always been our goal to have the other side of the road playing baseball to be just like this side of the road.”
He said, “It gives kids the ability to play, it’s all rubberized, so they can play on a rainy day, they can play any time of the year. Everything is one level, so home plate, even the bases and the pitchers mount are all one levell. That’s so kids with walkers or braces or wheelchairs can get around real easy and never have any stumbling issues.”
There are more then 100 miracle league fields around the country, and more then 100 kids play in the league here in Western New York.
Barber said she wanted to get her girls involved in activities that keep their minds busy. She said, “I realized when they were about a y ear and a half, they were both special needs. So getting them into programs is pretty fun and it just keeps them busy.”
For some of the kids, its the first organized team they’ve been a part of. And this Saturday it was the Yankees against the Pirates.
Each player is teamed up with a “Buddy” to make sure they are having fun and safe. the League is looking for buddy volunteers. If you’re interested in participating, head to the Miracle League website here.