SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Kids with disabilities now have a spot on the ball field thanks to Miracle League.
With the crack of a bat and fans cheering proudly, Saturday was a beautiful day for baseball in Northwest Arkansas. but at Randall Tyson Park in Springdale, with a baseball diamond with a smooth surface and assistants all around, everyone can be an athlete.
“There’s nobody that cannot play. We even have a beeping ball for folks that have sight impairment. So it’s a very inclusive, welcoming place and everybody gets to score a run everytime they get up and go bat,” Jason Kaundart said.
Kaundart’s daughter Emma has special needs.
“As a special needs parent, the thing that you crave the most is inclusion and this is a place where everyone is included and celebrated,” Kaundart said.
Emma’s found that playing for the Cubs in the Miracle League; a baseball league for kids with physical and mental disabilities.
“They’re just so excited for their kid to be part of a team that are sometimes not able to join in in school or other activities,” Miracle League Coach Coordinator Stephanie Shinabery said.
Now, every kid gets in the starting lineup, and every at-bat results in a run.
“Some of them have dances when they come in and they score. Some of them have dances when they’re going. You’ll see the bat flip. You got to dodge it because you never know where it’s going to go,” Shinabery said.
It is a home run for the players, but it means just as much to the parents.
“These kids, they’re smiling, they’re celebrated. They feel like the greatest athletes in the world which is exactly what they should be,” Kaundart said.
To learn more about Miracle League and how to get involved, click here.