JONESBORO, AR (ASU) — The Arkansas State baseball team took part in a special ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday morning for the Miracle League of Jonesboro at the Southside Softball Complex in Jonesboro.
The Red Wolves were on hand to help open the specially designed field for children and adults with special needs. The A-State players served as "buddies" for the first official baseball game and helped the competitors bat, run the bases and score runs. The event began at 9:30 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony, a balloon launch and other special presentations throughout the morning that led up to the first Miracle League game in Jonesboro.
"We felt very privileged to take part of such a special event in the Jonesboro community," A-State head coach Tommy Raffo said. "The Miracle League is an outstanding project that will benefit special needs adults and children in Northeast Arkansas and we are happy to be part of that."
The Miracle League project began in 2009 and is valued at $2.36 million. The playing surface is comprised of a specialized, rubberized surface that accommodates wheelchairs and other assertive devices that help prevent injuries and are designed to meet the unique needs of its players and their families. The Jonesboro field is larger than the average Miracle League which allows for wheelchair basketball, wheelchair kickball, wheelchair soccer and Special Olympics. The nearby playground has 28 separate handicap-accessible features.
The Miracle League was founded in 1999 and is founded on the principle that every player will bat once each inning, all base runners would be safe and every player would score a run before the inning was over. Players are assisted by "buddies" during the game and each team and each players' are declared winners at the end of the game.