(COVINGTON, La.) — Four weeks ago, the JV and Varsity baseball squads began their fall workouts in preparation for the upcoming season. These practices were made to improve defense, offense, and chemistry between the players participating. Building chemistry may be the most useful part of these practices, and the players are always participating in activities to build their team chemistry, such as team dinners, work days spent improving Heap Field’s condition, and even charity work.
Just over a month ago, Assistant Coach Todd Cole presented the prospect of working the Miracle League charity foundation to the team. The Miracle League charity has one goal: give those who can not play the game a chance to play. The children who partake in the league all have a certain disorder that limits their athletic abilities. Every child in the league has a “buddy.” These buddies assist their child with any obstacle they may have in playing the game.
Eleven St. Paul’s baseball players decided to help out players at Miracle League every Tuesday at 6 p.m. What are these players getting in return for their service to the kids? Service hours? Money? Nope. Players drive out to Coquille Park every Tuesday out of altruism, which could not make those involved in the St. Paul’s baseball program more proud.
Every Tuesday, the league has a two-inning game between the two teams that make up the league, the Cardinals and the Giants. These games do not consist of outs, so both teams hit through their entire lineup before it’s time to head back onto the field. With each team having a 20-person roster, the score at the end of the first inning was 20-20. Some of the kids only desired to bat, while others desired to stay in the field for the entire hour-long game.
“My kid really has no intentions of playing in the field,” sophomore Curtis Zuckerman said, “but when he comes up to bat, he can’t contain his excitement.”
The most surprising observation to some in attendance was the effect these buddies had on their kids. It appeared that most of the kids were more focused on having some one-on-one time with their buddies than hitting bombs to right field or fielding a ground ball. By the end of the game, which ended in a 40-40 tie, almost all of the kids had big smiles across their faces.
With the amount of happiness created by just driving out to Coquille Park once a week for just an hour, one can only hope that the message and goal of the Miracle League can be adapted to communities around the country.
If you would like more information on the Miracle League, visit their website at www.gnomiracleleague.org.
(Photos by Carson Caulfield)