Miracle League A Home Run For Kids With Special Needs

(Source: CBS4)
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The Miracle League of Miami-Dade is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that provides special needs children with an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The organization is raising funds to a build a custom-designed ball field for children with special needs, as seen in this rendering. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Another rendering of the ball field which will be built at Tamiami Park. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The Miami Marlins and Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation Department formed a partnership with the Miracle League to help make the dream of a custom field a reality. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The custom built field will be made of special rubberized material which makes it easier for players in wheelchairs and walkers to glide around the bases and to their positions on the field without fear of injury. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Because the custom built field has not been built yet, the inaugural game of the Miracle League of Miami-Dade was played Saturday, Nov. 16th, 2012 at Suniland Park in Pinecrest. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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It was played on a traditional clay and grass field and future games will also be played there until the custom built field is complete. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The inaugural game featured baseball legends MIke Lowell and Andre Dawson as honorary team managers. Former Marlins player Gaby Sanchez threw out the first pitch of the game. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Mike Lowell prior to the start of the inaugural game. (Source: CBS4)
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(Source: CBS4)
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Andre Dawson and Gaby Sanchez prior to the start of the inaugural game. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Billy the Marlin kept the crowd entertained and posed with a player, his family and his "baseball buddy." (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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University of Miami baseball announcer Jay Rokeach called the inaugural game. (Source: CBS4)
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Player Ben Young stands with his baseball buddies Christopher and Gillian. (Source: CBS4)
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Gaby Sanchez and Billy the Marlin on the pitchers mound before Sanchez threw the first ball. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Two baseball buddies stand with a player in the outfield. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Baseball buddies are paired up with players to assist them at bat and in the field. (Source: CBS4)
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Baseball buddies are usually around the same age as the player and often become friends while playing the game and outside the game as well. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Mike Lowell coaches first base with a player and his buddy. (Source: CBS4)
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All baseball buddies are student volunteers. (Source: CBS4)
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During the inaugural game, all of the players were paired up with at least two buddies. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The two teams are comprised exclusively of children with physical and/or mental challenges. (Source: CBS4)
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A proud mother gives her son a kiss as he crosses home base. (Source: CBS4)
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(Source: CBS4)
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Mike Lowell talks to a player at first base. (Source: CBS4)
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The Zoo Miami zoo squad was also on hand for the kids. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Mike Lowell on the field (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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There are nearly 30,000 special needs children living in Miami-Dade County and the Miracle League fields will be the first of their kind in Miami-Dade. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The league also has plans to use a special ball that beeps so people with visual impairments will be able to play as well. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The inaugural game was a huge success with nearly two dozen players who all enjoyed America's favorite past time. (Source: CBS4)
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(Source: CBS4)
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Billy the Marlin posed for pictures with players. (Source: CBS4)
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The only other Miracle League field in South Florida is located in Pembroke Pines in Broward County. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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Mike Lowell and Billy the Marlin hang out on first base with a player and his baseball buddy. (Source: CBS4)
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The custom built fields at Tamiami Park will also consist of a playground specifically designed and equipped for children with special needs. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The vision of the Miracle League of Miami-Dade: "Every child deserves to experience joy and community through baseball." (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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A player gives a thumbs up at first base. (Source: CBS4)
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There are no winners or losers in these games. All players hit and all players score. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The inaugural game consisted of two innings under beautiful blue skies and a crowd who cheered every player on with great enthusiasm. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
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The youngest player was only 3-years old. (Source: CBS4)
(Source: CBS4)
Andre Dawson coaches a player before he hits the ball. (Source: CBS4)
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Andre Dawson coaches a player before he hits the ball. (Source: CBS4)
Andre Dawson coaches a player before he hits the ball. (Source: CBS4)
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