Miracles can come in many forms. For college students, miracles can be defined as passing a difficult class or making it home after a crazy night out. For children and adults with mental and physical disabilities, the simple ability to play baseball is a true miracle. The Charleston Miracle League strives to provide the opportunity to play baseball to all who struggle with disabilities.
Sports are often unaccessible to the disabled due to the physical barriers. The bases are loaded for these people as they try to get through everyday challenges. The Miracle League strikes out these barriers by providing the players with a specially designed, rubberized “field” that allows easier mobility for wheelchairs. The Miracle League plays at the Joe Griffith Miracle Field in West Ashley.
Volunteers are the strings that hold the league together and allow for each and every disabled player to experience what it’s like to play baseball – and what it’s like to be on a team. Volunteers are paired with a buddy who they help run the bases, hit balls and protect from potential dangers. Miracle League volunteer and MUSC student, Luke Housley, has seen the miracle of baseball in action. “Getting to know the kids and seeing them remember you and run up to you is awesome,” said Housley. The relationships and sense of community that are formed through the sport are everlasting bonds enhanced by the marvel the league creates. “Other places I’ve volunteered can be a drag,” said Housley. “But Miracle League volunteers get to play baseball with the kids and just have fun. Seeing how much they enjoy doing something we take for granted is also awesome.”
Volunteering for the Miracle League is a great way to get involved in the lowcountry community. “Getting to see people with disabilities be able to play baseball is uplifting and encouraging,” said Housley. “Community service in general builds character and respect and is something everyone should engage in.” Seeing a miracle unfold in front of your eyes is an incredible feeling. The smiles that shine on the faces of kids who play baseball for the first time in their lives is unforgettable. Some people may dream of playing in the major leagues, but for these kids, the true home run is the mere opportunity to swing a bat. Thanks to the Charleston Miracle League, anybody and everybody can be a baseball player. Batter up!
Interested volunteers can visit the Charleston Miracle League website at www.charlestonmiracleleague.org