MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities baseball league is teaching kids more than just the fundamentals of the game.
The West Metro Miracle League gives kids of all abilities the chance to play.
Built off Highway 101 in Minnetonka nearly eight years ago, the modified field is specially designed for children with special needs.
Every weekend, the players are paired up with other kids — their baseball buddies — who volunteer to help them during the game.
“We have one of the most inclusive generations of kids who really see each other as equals,” West Metro Miracle League’s Tim Hawley said.
The baseball buddies for the DQ Dodgers Saturday were children of Dairy Queen employees. Stasia McKinney volunteered for the first time and was paired up with Summer Bredael.
“I came here just to have fun and volunteer with some of the kids,” McKinney said.
Throughout the game, she and the other buddies helped the players in every aspect of the game, from rounding the bases, to catching, to hitting a home run.
“It’s a lot of fun to be around them because they just have really nice personalities and they’re fun to be around because pretty much anything will make them smile,” McKinney said.
Players spent an hour playing the game, and each team got at least one chance at bat. Summer’s dad, Scott Bredael, said his daughter had a smile the entire game.
“Miracle League gives her all kinds of confidence. They come out here and can be themselves without judgement,” Bredael said.
The emphasis in youth baseball is often on the competition. But on the Miracle field, the score doesn’t determine who walks away the winner.
“I think that they learn most of all that including everybody is just a way that our world is getting better,” Miracle League coach Maddie Hawley said.
The West Metro Miracle League is always looking for baseball buddies to help out with games.
Click here if your kids are interested in volunteering.