A Special Buddy/Athlete Relationship
Buddies play a very important role in the success of the Miracle League and we are grateful to have the support and commitment of so many buddies. While their primary role is one of assisting the player in every aspect of playing baseball, some take it a step further.
During the Cardinals game on April 30, several people noted the role of a buddy assisting one of the Cardinals players, Michael, who is blind. Michael’s buddy, also named Michael, not only assisted him in batting, circling the bases and ensuring his safety in the field, but he also conducted his own “play by play” of everything that was going on. After each pitch, Michael, the buddy, would lean over and tell Michael, the player, exactly what was going on.
Whether in the field, on the base paths or in the dugout, Michael, the player, was able to enjoy the game in a manner very similar to a sighted person. The relationship between these two young people was something that literally brought tears to those who observed the special bond created by one individual who was committed to making the day a special event for the athlete he was supporting.
To Michael, the buddy, we say thank you not only for your commitment to the League but for showing a unique and caring effort to make the games a memorable experience for Michael , the player. We appreciate both of you and applaud the bond forged in a very short period of time. This is what the Miracle League program is all about.
See you at the Ballpark!
Texas Rangers Fantasy Camp A Huge Success
Thank you, Texas Rangers. On April 24, the Miracle League of Southlake was honored to host the Texas Rangers Fantasy Camp at the Texas Rangers Miracle League Field. Because space was limited to only 50 athletes, we conducted a lottery and drew names of those who were to participate.
The camp provided opportunities for the Miracle League athletes to receive tips on throwing, catching, fielding and hitting, and was under the direction of Southlake resident Homer Bush, Director of Youth Baseball Programs for the Texas Rangers. Of note, two local TV stations covered the event with the above video playing on Fox 4’s Sunday evening sportscast. Click on the video above to experience the joy of this camp.
Texas Rangers alumni participating included Mike Adams, Tim Crabtree, Ken Hill, Dan Smith, Rich Billings, Ken Suarez, Dave Chalk, Donald Harris, Warren Newson, and Luis Ortiz; a special thanks to each of them for providing great memories for the players and their families, as well as the volunteers who supported the camp. The Miracle League of Southlake board appreciates the continued support of the Texas Rangers.
The Batting Order
The Miracle League of Southlake is blessed to be able to serve the needs of young athletes with widely varying disabilities. Of the 14 players assigned to the Cardinals roster, 9 of them are wheel chair bound, creating the potential for challenges in managing the batting order since there is limited room in each dugout. Through the combined efforts of Coach Tammie Aeppli, her assistant Lara Burnside and team mom Christie Fine, they defined a solution that makes this a very manageable process.
At the beginning of each inning, Christie calls out the batting order and players line up in the dugout in order with the last person to bat being the first person to enter the dugout. To watch this process work as well as it does is a credit to everyone involved, including buddies who are responsible for ensuring that each player is in his/her proper position in the duogut.
This is yet another example of the commitment made by so many of our league volunteers to ensure that game day is a memorable experience for the layers. In the end, however, there is just as much enjoyment on the part of the volunteers as for the players themselves.
Join us on game day and experience the joys of a Miracle League game; games continue through May 21. See you at the ballpark!