Opening Day of Baseball is Extra Special at a Miracle Field
The only thing brighter than the sun and blue sky on Saturday was the smiles on the faces of the players and volunteers!
Cries of "batter up!" and "let's play ball!" means the season is underway at the five Pittsburgh Pirates Charities Miracle Fields across Western Pennsylvania! Opening day was Saturday.
Miracle Fields are specially designed baseball fields that provide every child and adult the opportunity to play baseball, even if they're living with a physical or mental disability. The smooth field surface makes it easier for players to navigate, whether they have mobility challenges or even use a wheelchair. Each child has volunteer "buddy" who not only helps them play, but is also a friend, on and off the field. The coaches are volunteers too, and volunteers raise the funds to build and maintain the facilities.
"Every child deserves a chance to play baseball" Miracle League Motto
Former Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Sean Casey -- now a broadcaster on the MLB network -- was there for opening day ceremonies on Saturday at the Casey's Clubhouse facility he helped found in Upper St. Clair.
Former Pirate Sean Casey shares a laugh.
In Cranberry, it was also opening day at Graham Park, and in Murrysville at Pirates' great Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field at Rotary Miracle Sports Complex (below).
Miracle League also has a Competitive Division for those players who want a more competitive level of play.
To find out more about how to sign up to play on a Miracle League team, or if you'd like to coach or be a buddy here are links to all of the teams in the area:
- Miracle League of Southwestern PA (MLSWPA) Cranberry Township, PA
- Miracle League of the South Hills (MLSH) Upper St. Clair, PA
- Miracle League of Indiana County (MLIC) Indiana, PA
- Miracle League of the Ohio Valley (MLOV) Wheeling, WV 304-242-1390
- Miracle League of Blair County (MLBC) Altoona, PA
- Miracle League of Western PA (MLWPA) Murrysville, PA
(Images: Tim Olack; Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania Facebook page)