ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) — Saturday morning, baseball returned to Optimist Park as the Miracle League kicked off their 2021 season.
“Miracle League is a baseball league designed for mentally, physically challenged children ages four through 19,” Executive Director Gary Rogaczewski said.
It’s a chance for area kids with special needs to get in the game.
“I think it’s really important for the kids to be able to experience some of the same things their classmates experience and to get out on the field with the other kids,” Rogaczewski said, “and enjoy a game that’s taken for granted by most.”
After being forced to miss last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, players made the return to the ballfield.
“They’ll get up in the morning at eight and put on their jersey for that night’s game,” Rogaczewski said. “They kind of live for this moment. And to take that away from them and many of them not understanding why was probably a very challenging year at home.”
The pandemic made 2020 a difficult year for most, but these players are ready to play ball.
“The Miracle League for today, it was awesome,” Brady Herman, a player on the League’s ‘Marlins’ team said.
Their families are also glad to be back.
“It was nice that he could go out o the field and enjoy normal life once again and sports,” Christine Herman, Brady’s mom, said.
Volunteer buddies help the players navigate the game.
“The parents are allowed to sit in the stands and watch their child,” Rogaczewski said.
“I was so happy to see him, he was just happy,” Christine told Local 5 at the conclusion of her son’s game.
Parents will have many more chances over the course of the summer to see their baseball players this happy.
“I’m looking forward to a great year, these kids are gonna have an excellent summer, and this is just going to be part of it,” Rogaczewski said.
Brady agreed, “Yes, I am looking forward to it.”