Fri May 4, 2012
New Baseball Field For Players With Special Needs
A baseball field specially designed for children and adults with disabilities will open in Orchard Park this Saturday morning. KMUW’s Megan Pauly has more.
The first of its kind in the city, Miracle field will feature a cushioned, rubberized surface to prevent injuries. The field will be home to 90 players of the Miracle League Association.
The association was brought to Wichita by Lainie Armstrong, founder of For the Love of Chance Center, a non-profit organization to help the disabled. Armstrong’s son Chance, for whom the non-profit is named, is in the league and looking forward to the first game of the season.
“He just loves just to be involved,” says Armstrong. “He loves people cheering for his name, he loves the announcers announcing his name as he gets up to bat. So he’s super, super excited and ready to see all of the other kids, and, you know, he’s ready to play ball.”
To cover the costs, Armstrong wrote grants to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Via Christi and the City of Wichita Park & Recreation Department. The city approved $300,000 from the Capital Improvement Project funds, and the Children’s Miracle Network contributed about $66,000.
Stacey Hamm, of the city’s park & recreation department, says the games are structured so all the players get a chance to play.
“They play the game of baseball, but there’s no outs,” says Hamm. “They don’t really keep score. And then each player is also accompanied by a volunteer, and those volunteers are called Angels in the Outfield. So based off of what their needs are, there will be a person there with them to help them get to the bases, help them kind of field the ball and things like that.”
Orchard recreation center’s fitness center, also in Orchard Park, is equipped with adaptive workout equipment as well.
Miracle League games will continue throughout the summer.