MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Play ball!
That’s exactly what nearly two dozen children with special needs did at the Suniland Park baseball diamond in Pinecrest Saturday afternoon, where miracles happened one hit at a time.
Baseball legends like Andre Dawson and Mike Lowell were front-and-center as honorary team managers for the Miracle League of Miami-Dade’s inaugural baseball game.
“My son was the first batter,” said Grissel Nordarsh. Her son Anthony has an intellectual disability. He’s eight years old, but functions like a three-year-old.
But little Anthony’s disability didn’t hold him back on the field. As he hit his first ball and ran for first base, his mother’s heart swelled with pride and her eyes swelled with tears.
“It’s just that he’s finally accepted!” said Anthony’s mom, clearly overjoyed.
“There are more than 30,000 special needs kids in Miami-Dade County, but surprisingly there’s not a single field dedicated to these kids so they can play,” said Miracle League Executive Board Member Karl Sturge.
The Miracle League of Miami-Dade, a non-profit organization that provides special needs children with the opportunity to play baseball, is working to change that by raising money to build a special field.
Organizations like the Marlins have already donated $100,000.
Instead of the traditional clay field with raised bases and unlevel grass, the new field will be made of a rubberlike material for both the grass and field to make it easier for children with wheelchairs or walkers to play.
For more information about the Miracle League and how you can donate your money or time to their cause, visit www.miracleleagueofmiamidade.org