JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It was a great day at the ball park for many children who have never stepped foot on home plate.
Miracle League Park in Jonesboro held their first games for the spring season on Saturday.
The day included batting practice, base hits, and even a slide into home plate.
Before the games, Gigi's Cupcakes dedicated a red Maple Tree in honor of all the Miracle League kids.
Brittney McKee, marketing director for Gigi's Cupcakes, said they wanted to plant something in honor of Earth Day that would represent the strength these children have.
"They touch your heart in a way that you can just never let them go," McKee said.
For the first game, the Mets played the Cardinals. Harold Perrin, mayor of Jonesboro, threw out the first pitch. He said it was a great joy to finally see kids take the field after more than 2 years of hard work.
"This is for all of Northeast Arkansas and everything," Perrin said. "I've got parents, even in other cities, outside Jonesboro that are here today."
Camelia Ballard, volunteer and mother, said her family has been waiting for this day.
"It was almost like Christmas Eve at our house last night because we were so excited and ready to play ball," Ballard said.
Ballard's son Brant played on the Cardinals team, and she said he has been talking about this day for weeks.
"He has 2 older brothers that have played, and now it's his turn to play," Ballard said. "We are just thrilled and excited that we have a place now like this to come and play."
Ballard said this morning Brant knew exactly what day it was.
"We found his helmet," Ballard said. "He put it on this morning in jammies, in our living room. It was just like let's go, it's my turn, it's my turn."
Since beginning this Miracle League journey, Ballard said all of the families involved have bonded.
"Families have become friends, and we've come together as a whole unit really because we have something in common," Ballard said.
And you can't forget the kids. Ballard said the players have also been able to make lifelong friendships.
"They just hug each other and they know each other by name," Ballard said. "It's just precious to see them."
All of the volunteers agreed, there are only winners at Miracle League Park.
The Miracle League spring season takes place every Saturday until May 30th.