I play baseball with the Miracle League of Newton County, Georgia, and I love it! When I first share this information with people, most of the time they look at me like I am crazy, but never actually ask me how I can do that! For all the skeptics out there, here’s how!
The Miracle League is a softball league that’s geared towards kids and young adults with special needs. My team is called the Phillies and my mom is our coach (She insisted on naming us the Phillies since she’s from Philadelphia). The sport is very adaptive and accommodating to my needs as a wheelchair user. Our softball field has the artificial turf that allows me to drive freely and get around with ease.
I arrive at the baseball field in my power wheelchair. I ride around for a minute or two and scope out which bat I’m going to use for the game. When it’s time for my team to hit the outfield, I quickly elevate my power wheelchair to 12 inches to maximize my ability to see what’s going on while on the field. During the game, we have what we call “buddies” on the field and they assist us with “running the bases” and protect us from the ball when its in play. While in the outfield, I get a chance to catch the ball and throw it back to the pitcher. I like to elevate my wheelchair to get a better view of the field, the players and the spectators. I enjoy hearing the cheers we receive from the many family members and friends who come out to see us on a weekly basis.
When it’s time for my team to bat, my buddy/field assistant helps me with the positioning of my bat and helps me with hitting the ball. Overall, my muscles are extremely weak, so his help is much needed and appreciated. The commentator of our games calls me “The Officer” and makes all kinds of funny comments when I come out to the plate to bat. He distracts the crowd when I miss my first ball. He’ll say something like “Oh, bad pitch!” to the pitcher. if I miss my second ball, he makes encouraging comments. He knows I’ve had enough of swinging the bat and I just want to hit the ball, so I can get to first base.
When I finally hit the ball, I’m ready for anything! I’m elevated at 12 inches and driving at 4.5 mph, running the bases. It’s a lot of fun too. I’m teasing the umpire, stealing bases and finally going around third base to cross home plate.
After the game is over, I can’t wait to get into the van, so I can use the other great feature on my iLevel Power Wheelchair: the awesome recline feature. This lets me recline back while in my power wheelchair, so I can rest after a fun day at my baseball game.
About Morgan Steward: Morgan is an honorary police officer for the Covington Georgia Police Department. He lives with his mother, father and two siblings. He is an active member in his community and enjoys helping others. Click here to learn more about Morgan.