The Miracle League concept was developed in Conyers, GA in 2000 to help children with special needs play the game of baseball. Most Miracle Leagues play on custom-designed fields that feature cushioned, rubberized surfaces to help prevent injuries, accessible dugouts and completely flat surfaces (no raised bases or pitching mounds) to eliminate any barriers to wheel-chair bound or visually impaired players.
The game itself is played in a unique way. Each player bats once each inning; all batters are "safe" and score a run before the inning is over. Games are two innings long and each team and each player always wins.
Over the past three years, Pirates Charities has identified the support of Miracle League programs in our community as one of its signature projects. Currently, Pirates Charities is working with five individual Miracle League programs that will all provide children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in the great game of baseball. Four of these programs are located in the greater Pittsburgh region, and the fifth is in the Pirates Spring Training Home of Bradenton, Florida.
There are currently more than 240 Miracle League organizations across the world, including Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia. More than 200,000 special needs children and young adults participate in these programs.
Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is partnering with the Indiana County YMCA to build Indiana County's first Miracle League Baseball field, which is being constructed specifically for children and adults with special needs. The new field, located on the grounds of the YMCA of Indiana County, will be called the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field - Indiana County, and will be home to the Miracle League of Indiana County (MLOIC). The MLOIC is a charitable organization that provides the opportunity for children with mental and/or physical disabilities a chance to experience playing baseball in a league-based environment.
On October 3, 2011, Easter Seals, Pirates Charities, and other Wheeling-based partners including the J.B. Chambers Foundation, the City of Wheeling, Ogden Newspapers and the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, broke ground on the Miracle League Field of the Ohio Valley in Wheeling, West Virginia. Located in the J.B. Chambers Complex, the Miracle League Field will bring a completely new dynamic to not only the Wheeling community, but also the 15 surrounding counties in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania that will also participate in the Miracle League of The Ohio Valley.
On May 18, 2013, Pirates Charities along with the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley officially opened the JB Chambers Miracle League Field. Bob Nutting, Pirates and Pirates Charities Chairman, was joined at the event by Pirates President Frank Coonelly and other Pirates representatives. Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown emceed the event and nationally known recording artist B.E. Taylor performed the National Anthem. Immediately following the event was the inaugural game on the J.B. Chambers field.
Pirates Charities partners with Wheeling-based organizations to help bring first field to area - 1/27/10 »
Easter Seals, Pirates Charities and Wheeling-based partners break ground on Miracle League Field - 10/3/11 »
Pirates Charities partners to open the JB Chambers Miracle League Field - 5/18/13 »
Opening Ceremonies Video - 5/18/13
Miracle League of the Ohio Valley Photo Gallery - 5/18/13
On June 9, 2011, former MLB and Pirates alum Sean Casey and his wife Mandi, along with Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills, located adjacent to the Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair. The field was completed in the spring of 2012 with the Opening Ceremonies taking place on Saturday, May 26. For more information, please visit www.caseysclubhouse.org.
Casey's charity breaks ground on Pirates Charities Miracle League Field - 6/9/11 »
Groundbreaking Photo Gallery - 6/9/11
Opening Ceremonies Video - 5/26/12
Opening Ceremonies Photo Gallery - 5/26/12
Casey's Clubhouse and Pirates Charities celebrate Opening Day - 5/26/12 »
Bucs proud to open Miracle League Field - 5/26/12 »
In 2009, Pirates Charities partnered with the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania in Cranberry Township to build the first Miracle League field in our region - the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field at Dick's Sportsplex at Graham Park. For more information about MLSWPA, please visit www.miracleleagueofsouthwesternpa.org.
Pirates and Miracle League to build field - 7/9/08 »
Pirates Charities partners with Miracle League of SWPA to open first field in Pittsburgh - 5/16/09 »
Miracle League Field Grand Opening Video - 5/16/09
Miracle League Field Grand Opening Photo Gallery - 5/16/09
2009 Pirates Charities Miracle League Holiday Party Video
Pirates Charities, along with the Rotary Club of Murrysville-Export and the Municipality of Murrysville, officially opened the Rotary Miracle Sports Complex of Murrysville during a ceremony on Saturday, September 15 at the Murrysville Community Park in Murrysville. The centerpiece of the Murrysville Complex is the Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field, named after Pirates' Hall of Famer and Westmoreland County resident Bill Mazeroski, and is the home of the new Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania. Bob Nutting, Pirates and Pirates Charities Chairman, was joined at the event by Mazeroski, Pirates President Frank Coonelly, Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass, former Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve, along with local officials, including Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks. The Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field, which is the fourth in the greater Pittsburgh region in which Pirates Charities has played a vital role in constructing, allows children and adults with special needs to realize their dream of playing baseball, many of them for the very first time. The new field is made of a synthetic surface making it possible for children and adults in wheelchairs, walkers and with other special needs to safely move about the field. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.miracleleaguewpa.org.
"Manasota" is a combination of Manatee and Sarasota Counties in Florida. The Miracle League of Manasota, presented by the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, opened in the spring of 2012. This special field serves children and adults with special needs in both of these counties. The first game took place on March 17th, 2012, in Longwood Park, just off University Parkway in Sarasota. Pirates Charities has provided funding support to this project. For more information, please visit www.miracleleaguemanasota.org.