West Michigan Miracle League Ballfield

Miracle League ballfield coming to Ten Mile complex

May 24, 2012 // 0 Comments

‘In the fall of 2014 we should have a field to play on’ by BETH ALTENA “A lot of people are committed to this project and really excited about it,” said Tony Comden, president of the West Michigan Miracle League, who spoke to an audience in Rockford’s City Hall on Monday, April 16. Comden was describing the concept of Miracle League, a nationwide organization that provides baseball opportunities for kids with physical and mental disabilities. A Miracle League ball field will be included in the new baseball and softball complex being built by the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) on Ten Mile Road in Plainfield Township. According to Comden, however, the recreation aspect of the project is just the beginning of the benefits to individuals involved and the surrounding communities. Comden described the Miracle League ballfield as surely coming, but in need of the funds it will take to get the project finished. “In 2014 we should have a field to play on,” he said. He is confident the project will be embraced and those involved, from playing to funding, will know this is something special to be part of. “The story of organized youth baseball is ordinary,” he said. “This story is special.” The father of a child who uses a walker to get around, Comden has long sought a Miracle League field in this area. He said kids with disabilities do want to participate in sports just as any able-bodied kids do. He said it is heartbreaking to see disabled kids on a field where obstacles stop them. He said his own son loves to play, but if his walker gets caught on something, a base for example, the walker stops but the boy doesn’t and he hits the ground. “It’s also tough in the outfield out in the grass,” Comden described. With Miracle League playing fields, the field is made of a special rubberized surface, which is a firm but not completely hard surface. In Miracle League baseball, each child with disabilities is paired with an able-bodied “buddy.” The buddy’s job is to ensure that the disabled child is able to play safely and effectively. This system breaks down barriers between disabled children and nondisabled kids. “It’s about self-confidence, self-esteem,” said Comden. “The kids […]