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Story by Stephen Wilson, photos by Clay Wegrzynowicz

With the World Series upon us, young fans watching the game somewhere harbor a desire to step up to the plate, choose a pitch, and hear the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd as they round the bases.

While some of those young fans may be lucky enough to play on a team, earn a college scholarship, and make it to the big show, other kids don’t. Baseball for them is a field of dreams.

Dreams came true for all players at Miracle League of Northampton County on a recent fall night as Lafayette baseball players and coaches served as buddies to children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. They played a game at a venue designed specifically to meet their unique needs and abilities.

Organized by Landis Center for Community Engagement, the big game allowed Joe Kinney, head baseball coach, to help his players share their love for the game with kids and adults who love to play.

“It’s a two-inning game where every player hits, runs, and scores,” says Kinney. “It gives my players an opportunity to give back to the community as well as have fun. You get to see kids and adults hit a pitch or run to first base. That alone can be a major victory, and it happened on your watch.”

Infielder Mark Glover ’20 knows how easy it is in the busyness of the day to lose sight of how lucky he and his teammates are to be playing. 

The Miracle League allowed us an opportunity to use the passion we have for baseball and align it with the ability to help people that are potentially dealing with problems that are often times much heavier than the ones we may be facing,” he says.

Glover and teammate Stephen Turzai ’22 were paired with a 17-year-old high school student. Glover and Turzai talked with him, followed him around the bases after he hit, and played catch with him in the outfield when he was on defense. 

“He was a pleasure to be with,” says Glover. “And the kid could hit!”

The student cracked a home run that his dad happily collected for the trophy case at home.

“Community service projects like the Miracle League provide an opportunity for us to make an impact, however small, on others’ lives who may be going through tough times or just need a little extra help,” says Glover.

The Miracle League’s mission to create positive life experiences through baseball was outta the park.

Categorized in: Community, Community-Based Learning and Research, Featured News, Landis Center, News and Features, The Real Deal: Real Students. Real Athletes.
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