SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Massachusetts Sports Commission and the Miracle League of Western Massachusetts joined forces to hold the first ever “Northeast Miracle League Tournament.”
The Miracle League aims to remove the barriers that keep kids with disabilities off the baseball field. The league was founded in 2015 and offers 2 baseball seasons every year, one in the fall and one in the spring.
But Saturday’s tournament was the first time 3 chapters of the Miracle League came together for a day-long tournament.
More than 80 athletes came from Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to play. Sarah Gruszak of Buffalo, NY told 22News, “For special needs parents, we don’t get a chance for a tournament. If you only have one special needs child you don’t get a tournament.”
Gruszak added, “You don’t get to go these baseball tournaments, you don’t get football tournaments so this was a special event for us and we couldn’t miss it.”
Boys and girls ages 4 to 19 who have physical and or cognitive challenges are eligible to play in the league. One parent told 22News, why this league is so important.
“They make them interact and they teach them how to play the game and what to do,” Jennica Pares of Springfield said. “I think it’s great. It makes them feel like they are just the rest of the kids.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame welcomed their new Class of 2019 Friday night which brought basketball legends to Springfield. Before heading out of town, newly inducted member Teresea Weatherspoon threw out the first pitch of the game.