Youth baseball league gives children with disabilities chance to - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Youth baseball league gives children with disabilities chance to play

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)) -

A handful of years ago there was an idea to bring baseball to kids with disabilities.

“My wife came to me,” said Ernie Fitzell of the Miracle League of Western Mass. “She said she wanted to do something for her kids. She’s a special needs teacher in Holyoke and that’s how it started.”

Flash forward to present time, and that idea, the Miracle League of Western Massachusetts which Ernie Fitzell and his wife Tammy created, is flourishing.

In Sunday’s rain, nearly 50 kids gathered on the new adaptive field at Springfield College, cheered on by their families and teammates, but also their buddies in yellow shirts- volunteers who assist these players around the bases, or even help put bat to ball.

"You're with them from the time they check in, until the the time the game is over," Fitzell explained.

This is the first season to be played on the adaptive field, which makes baseball possible for all.

"It’s a rubberized turf field and it’s designed to let kids in wheelchairs, walkers and any type of falling disability play on it so nobody gets hurt," Fitzell said. 

Bryce Holmes was fired up about his homer, rounding the bases to thunderous applause.

With the spring season still in session, he’s looking to rip another next Sunday.

“Everyone can play,” Fitzell went on to say. “We let everyone play because baseball is America’s past time.”

Registration for the Spring session is closed, but if you have a kid, or know someone who would like to join, very soon fall registration will be up.

Games are played every Sunday morning on the new adaptive field at Springfield College. 

For more information on The Miracle League of Western Massachusetts, click here

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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