The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and Miracle League Los Angeles had a field day last Saturday on the universally accessible Dodgers Dreamfield. The field day allowed Miracle League children to prepare for the League’s inaugural baseball program. The season will start this Saturday.
“Today’s just a fun day for the kids to get to meet their coaches, to come out and see the field,” said Miracle League Director Jeremy McGovern. “They’ll get to meet their coaches; they’ll pick up their uniforms.”
Children participating also took baseball-card style photos that will be projected on the score board when they come up to bat. Miracle League plans to have 10 teams for this season, games will happen every Saturday through May.
“There’s not a lot of places that are very open to allowing children with special needs or any developmental disability to be able to engage and participate and be included in programs,” said Meshell Baylor, a mother who has two children with Autism. “This is a really wonderful opportunity for them to just have fun, to laugh, to play.”
Each child will be assigned a buddy, a volunteer that will assist and support the player. Every team will have their own Dodger shirt and hat.
“It’s not just about baseball,” said Spencer Hood, one of the coaches for the Miracle League. “It’s about teamwork, it’s about making friends, it’s about building confidence within yourself that you can be active and you can get out of your comfort zone.”
Hood has Cerebral Palsy and sees the baseball program as an opportunity for children with different abilities to get active.
“This is of huge importance,” said Nichol Whiteman, Executive Director of the L.A. Dodgers Foundation. “Working on this project is probably one of our most rewarding projects in the Dodgers Foundation. We had several partners that made this field possible.”