Let's play ball

. August 2, 2012.

Don’t pack away those baseball mitts just yet. The Miracle League of Northwest Ohio (MLNWO) is forming its fall league, due to begin September 9.

The purpose of the league is to give every child with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. “Sports played a big role in my life growing up," said MLNWO founder Jeff Barton, who is the father of two young boys. He felt every child deserved the chance to experience being part of a  team, gaining social skills, and making friends. Their barrier-free baseball field was constructed in 2009 in Northwood, Ohio, just a couple miles from Owens Community College.

The upcoming fall league will consist of six teams, and the games (open to children with or without disabilities) are played on four consecutive Sunday afternoons beginning September 9. The cost is $25 per player and includes their hat and jersey. There are scholarships available for any player unable to pay the registration fee. Older children, teens, and adults may volunteer to be a buddy during the Sunday games as well. Buddies play alongside a baseball player and assist them getting to the bases and helping in the outfield. For those interested in being a buddy or registering a player, visit www.mlnwo.org. —KL