There’s no better saying than teamwork makes the dreamwork when it comes to bringing The Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field to reality. The City of Midland’s Assistant Director of Public Services, Marcie Post, is proud and excited to announce that Opening Day for the Miracle League will be on Saturday, May 14th at 11 a.m.
The public is welcome to attend the Saturday baseball games – held once per week through the end of June – at Midland’s Central Park. The games are meant to bring smiles to the faces of disabled athletes and their families.
Marcie Post is the assistant director of Public Services for the City of Midland.
The Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field was made possible through the support of many donors and the City of Midland’s Parks and Recreation Department including Post, who took this on as a personal project several years ago. Post’s hope is that disabled athletes will come out, have fun, and enjoy using the new Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field.
Post says during Opening Day there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, some speeches, and two games played. Parades will kick off each game with players and volunteer “buddies” also participating in the parade. All players will also get the chance to throw out the opening pitch.
Post says there are 52 registered players coming from all over the Mid-Michigan area. The Middle of the Mitt Miracle League is part of a national organization. “We hit our max number of players. We’re very excited,” adding that there are 52 registered players. Some 25 buddies will work as volunteers on the field and in the dugout assisting players. “Their main responsibility will be to ensure the safety of our players, help our players bat and field the ball,” says Post.
She describes the Miracle Field as a “beautiful aesthetic” fully accessible soft surface baseball field for athletes of all ages with physical and cognitive disabilities. The field is a poured rubber, barrier-free surface to provide a safe, fully accessible place for athletes to play baseball. “That way there’s nothing to trip on, run over or for a wheelchair to get caught on. It will service all disabilities. From someone who is blind, has autism, Down's syndrome. All disabilities,” she explains.
Aerial photo of the Middle of the Mitt Miracle Field in Midland's Central Park
All in all, there will be 4 teams each with a different team name and color jersey. Team names were voted and decided on by the public. Players’ ages range from 5-70 and will play games together. Post says moving forward she will see if it works to separate the teams into skill level and age, “I don’t know that age really matters. It’s diverse, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from each other, to play and be inclusive.”
Post says she and organizers dug deep to send out information on the Miracle Field to area communities –such as Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Bay and Midland – who serve disabled people, adding “a lot of it was word of mouth to get out the information.”
Baseball practices will begin this week to get players accustomed to helmets, equipment, the field and surroundings. Practices will then continue to be held each Wednesday throughout the season but aren't mandatory, Post says, adding that “many people come from far away, and can’t make it.”
The Miracle League has been a long time in the making for Post, who considers this a project of love. “I’m very excited. It won’t hit me until we start playing,” she says. “I can't wait to see the first pitch, the kids and adults … the coaches working and settling in. Making these kids feel amazing. It’s just going to be awesome.” For more information on how to volunteer, go to unitedwaymidland.org
. Check out the Miracle League’s schedule at cityofmidlandmi.gov/miraclefield