Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Miracle League

From The Auburn Plainsman (4/1/2010):

Every spring while his boys were growing up, Rob Cox took his place in the stadium to proudly watch them play baseball. Now his work with the Miracle League brings him the pride of watching other people’s children play baseball. Children who, because of special health needs, play the game a little differently than his sons Trent and Chase did. The Miracle League is a league of baseball teams made up of players with disabilities that prevent them from playing on regular baseball teams.

Cox is the chairman of the league’s board. “The reason that I do it is because of the smiles that I see on these children’s faces when they play baseball,” Cox said. One of his favorite gameday duties is turning on the music in the stadium. Cox said he likes to play country, rock and oldies tunes. “I think one of the most important things you can do at a baseball game is play good music,” Cox said.

Cox hopes the Miracle League will eliminate stereotypes about people with special needs. “They can do anything that we do, they may do it a little differently,” Cox said. “But they have the same abilities.” Cox said it is the players and their families who make gameday on Billy Hitchcock Field so special. “You can build all the baseball fields you want to,” Cox said, “but if there aren’t people on the bases, it doesn’t matter. And especially these people. They just mean a lot to us.”

BSOD 4/1/2010: “The Miracle League”
Artist: Eddie Kilgallon – Montgomery Gentry Group
Released: Unknown

The History of The Miracle League

In 1997 Rockdale Youth Baseball Association’s coach Eddie Bagwell invited the first disabled child Michael to play baseball on his team; Michael a 7 year old child in a wheel chair attended every game and practice, while cheering on his 5 year old brother play America’s favorite pass-time.

And in 1998, the Rockdale Youth Baseball Association (RYBA) formed the Miracle League to further its mission of providing opportunities for all children to play baseball regardless of their ability. The disabled children in the community had expressed the desire to dress in uniforms, make plays in the field, and round the bases just like their healthy peers. The league began with 35 players on four teams.

There were no programs for the Miracle League to copy. It was decided that:

  • Every player bats once each inning
  • All players are safe on the bases
  • Every player scores a run before the inning is over (last one up gets a home run)
  • Community children and volunteers serve as ‘buddies’ to assist the players
  • Each team and each player wins every game
to read more about The Miracle League and how you can help, please browse to

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