Planet B 365 Days in the World of Autism

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Miracle League – What an experience !

on October 10, 2015

This past summer, B found a new passion BASEBALL ! This was exciting for many reasons, one of which is that it is a more “normal” or “typical” thing for a 12 year old boy to be interested in. Of course, this boy is still playing with Thomas trains at 12 years old but that is neither here nor there. His interest with baseball derived from logos of course, logos have been a passion of his for years. He became interested in the team names, where they were located, their throwback jersey’s etc… Not the same way my oldest son was interested in baseball. Every kid is different and we all know B is an original.

B’s big brother was thrilled and spent many summer days playing simulated baseball games with him. So when I remembered there was a beautiful Miracle League field a few miles away we had to sign him up. B has never been interested in playing ANY sports before, he hates PE at school and just would rather spend his time doing other things. So this was our first experience with him playing a team sport.

We signed him up and waited with baited breath for his season to start. We didn’t know what to expect, sometimes his obsessions lasted a few months and then completely died. By the time baseball season started he might not want any part of playing. But it was a chance worth taking, my baby wanted to play ball !

Last Saturday was opening day and I was probably more nervous than anyone else. I just didn’t know what to expect from B, he could get there and just decide he didn’t want to participate at all. He was already a little perplexed that he couldn’t just pick his own team to be on (these days it’s the Mariners for some reason)- but I kept reminding him his team was the Diamondbacks. We got to the field bright and early. Ty came home from school to see B’s opening day, thank goodness he came along. The field was beautiful and of course the volunteers couldn’t have been any nicer. I will tell you, that all the best people in the world are involved with the special needs community in some way. These people have the kindest hearts and always make you feel welcome and part of their community immediately. We met his coach and got his uniform. The smile on his face putting on his own official hat and jersey was priceless. Tears and more tears of happiness, mad that I forgot to bring my sunglasses to hide my eyes. He started playing catch with his dad to warm up before the game. Now, let me just tell you that B has never had any interest in playing catch with my husband. His dad has tried and always asked him if he wanted to- B always had other things to do and was not interested. This was their first time ever playing catch and B had an ARM ! He was zinging those balls right in my husbands glove. We were all in shock.

The coach came by and said, well he might be too advanced for this league and did we know there was another league he might want to try. We assured him since this was his first time playing catch at all, we didn’t know what to expect once the game started. I was thrilled that he still wanted to play, so far so good.

The game began and my husband was set up to B’s buddy. Unfortunately, a lot of the buddies (35 to be exact!) had cancelled at the last minute so they were short handed. My husband ended up pitching and Ty ended up coming in to be B’s buddy. More tears as B took the field for the first time, he was so excited to be out there. A year ago, he would have had absolutely no interest in this, it’s crazy how things change ! His team was playing the field first, but low and behold once the first player hit, B decided he wanted to run the bases too. HA! I thought to myself, this is the right league for him as he wasn’t the only kid out there who was wandering around, trying to do that too. All the parents cheered for everyone, both teams, all the players. Ty spent many years in little league with his Dad coaching. We spent countless hours at games and yet I never felt the comradery that I did being a part of the Miracle League.

Each team batted twice and played the field twice. A lot of the kids had to be helped much more than B, he definitely was the most into it out of the kids who were out there. One boy cried and didn’t want to participate. But that was okay, we all have those days, this was the Miracle League and anything goes my friend. It was such a heartwarming experience. At the end of the game, all the players shook hands but B wasn’t done yet. His absolute favorite thing is when MLB teams get a walk off homerun. When all the players charge the field and jump up and down hugging and cheering. So Ty took the pitcher’s mound, threw B a pitch. B got a hit and ran all the bases. B Sr and Ty met up with him at homeplate and they all jumped up and down cheering together. Such a great image and memory, it is burned on my heart and I will NEVER forget it.

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