History Stanislaus County Miracle League

History of the Miracle League of Stanislaus County

Plans to develop a baseball program for handicapped children in Stanislaus County were hatched in 2008 when six friends came together, united in their desire to undertake a project that would substantially benefit their community.   In their search for an impactful project, the friends were introduced to the national Miracle League organization which had been started a decade prior in Conyers, Georgia when coach Eddie Bagwell invited 7 year old wheel-chair bound Michael to be on his baseball team.  For just a moment Michael was able to live in a different world- dressing in a uniform, making plays in the field, and rounding the bases just like his able-bodied peers.  From this kind gesture, a mission to provide opportunities for all children to play baseball regardless of their ability sprang to life, and a national organization was hatched to help local communities construct specialized fields and operate leagues so that disabled children could experience the joy of childhood that comes from being on a team playing a sport that is considered our national pastime, baseball.

Today, seventeen years after its founding, the Miracle League network has grown into a national organization with over 240 completed fields across the United States and Puerto Rico, serving approximately 200,000 children and young adults.

After coming to know the Miracle League organization, our founders began an evaluation of the need for such a project in Stanislaus County.  With over 1,290 disabled children enrolled in Modesto City Schools alone and thousands more served by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, our founders realized the great impact that a local Miracle League could have for disabled children and their families in our local region.  So, in 2008, they set out to established the Miracle League of Stanislaus County (“MLSC”) and in 2009 they were granted status as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.

In 2009, the MLSC also partnered with Big Valley Grace Community Church which offered it approximately 1.5 acres on its campus to construct a Miracle Field.  Site design and fundraising commenced shortly thereafter and an outpouring of support followed with the roster of project proponents swelling to include professional volunteers assisting with site planning, architecture, engineering, and project management.  An ambitious fundraising effort also ensued and through the generous support of the capital campaign financial sponsors, groundbreaking for the very first Miracle Field in the northern San Joaquin Valley was made possible in July 2015.

While our work is far from over, we are looking forward to playing ball in the spring of 2016!  We hope you’ll join us on Opening Day.

“Every Child Deserves A Chance to Play Baseball.”

homer