Easterseals Miracle League of Michigan, Michigan's FIRST adaptive baseball field, was founded in 2004. The program provides children with behavioral and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league, both competitive and non-competitive. There is something about playting the game of baseball that lights up a childs eyes, but for children facing physical and behavioral challenges, getting involved can be a difficult first step. The Easterseals Miracle League of Michigan gives these children the opportunity to get out in the sunshine and enjoy playing the game of baseball in it's purest form.
The idea of building specially equipped baseball fields was born in Georgia when a boy in a wheelchair showed up to play in a youth baseball program. One of the coaches took the boy as a member of his team. After that, Georgia’s Rockdale Youth Baseball Association organized games for 35 players with special needs. Soon it became evident that, while the idea was extremely well received by the children and their families, conventional baseball fields were inadequate for children with disabilities.
The grassy turf was very difficult for their wheelchairs, walkers and braces to navigate, and bumps and irregular surface made moving around awkward and dangerous. This spawned the idea to build a field with a special surface that was safe and easy to navigate for those with disabilities. A field was designed with a custom synthetic turf and handicapped accessible dugouts, restrooms and drinking fountains. This was the beginning of what is now called The Miracle League.
Children with physical and intellectual challenges are paired with “able-bodied” volunteer “buddies” who assist them in batting, catching, throwing and running. Every player gets a turn at bat and in the outfield, and every child gets across home plate. The
point of the game is less about baseball and more about fun! The benefits gained by everyone involved are tremendous. The child’s self-esteem grows, they make friends, become less isolated and “just become a regular kid, not a kid with a disability.”
In addition to baseball, we also offer bowling and dance!
Our bowling season begins the first Sunday in January and continues for 10-weeks at Norwest Lanes in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Ball ramps and lane bumpers are provided to those needing them. Registration fee includes 10-hours or lane usage and shoe rental, bowling t-shirt, player medal and weekly prizes.
Our Dance classes began as a pilot program in 2014 at Novi High School. Dancers and families loved the experience so a five-class dance program was created in the Fall of 2015. Classes were held at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills and currently at The Dance Shoppe in Waterford, Michigan. Dancers were partnered with volunteer “buddy” dancers to assist them in learning their routine. This program is designed to be a fun way to learn to dance and build social skills at the same time. This program has been well received by dancers, families and volunteers. More dance classes are coming soon.