April 07, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

100 volunteer buddies needed for Miracle League ball season

photo of a male youth helping a special needs boy play softball in a wheelchairOne hundred new volunteer buddies are needed to step up to the plate with Miracle League ball players this season.

More than 125 children and adults with disabilities have signed for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board's Miracle League spring season, which opens Monday, April 14, at the Miracle League Ball Field at Springfield's Dan Kinney Park.

The program depends upon volunteer buddies to help players hit, catch, run bases and enjoy the seven-week ball league. But only 28 buddies have signed up this spring.

Miracle League Supervisor Cyrus Taylor says the benefits of this volunteer program go far beyond the one-hour-per-week time commitment.

"Buddies can expect to have a heck of a good time and to make a serious impact on someone's life," said Taylor. "They may think it's not a big deal to go play a little baseball, but it's a big deal for our players. Playing in the Miracle League improves their confidence, it helps their social interactions and verbal skills, and it's a real win for everyone."

Taylor says the program has more than doubled in participants since its inaugural 2012 season, growing from four to eight 15-18-member teams. Leagues run in spring and fall.

"In the fall we have a good supply of buddies from our university baseball and softball players. But in the spring they're all playing ball themselves, so we're asking the community to help us out," said Taylor.

Buddies are needed for seven one-hour games, Monday and/or Thursday evenings, April 14 through June 2. Single-game opportunities are available, but Taylor prefers a three-game commitment — if not the whole season. "Being a buddy is a bonding experience," he said.

Buddies must be age 12 or older, enthusiastic, friendly, able to assist players on the field and ready to have a good time.

For more information and volunteer registration forms, visit parkboard.org/miracle_field. Or contact Miracle League Supervisor Cyrus Taylor at 417-837-5808 or e-mail the Park Board's Accessible Recreation program at AR@springfieldmo.gov. For media inquiries, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.

Download a hi-res, 2013 photo of Miracle League player and buddies.