Two Students Inducted into Miracle League HOF

Quinn Schmidt, Staff Reporter

On July 26, 2006, the lives of Lehigh Valley children were changed by the addition of a baseball diamond in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. The five-acre complex was completed in order to give children with disabilities the chance to play baseball. This specialized field represents one of the now 275 Miracle League organizations spanning all across the globe.

On December 8, freshman Sara Miller was inducted into the Miracle League Hall of Fame alongside Jared Brown, the son of instructional assistant Mrs. Jana Brown. Both are distinguished veterans of the Miracle League, entering their tenth year in the organization.

The Lehigh Valley Miracle League is an organization that allows special needs children in the Valley to play in a baseball league of their own. The playing field is not composed of the usual grass and dirt, but instead a Mondo Super X Performance turf that allows wheelchairs to travel safely. They try to stay as close to the rules of baseball as possible, but with a twist. In 1998 when the Miracle League was founded, it was determined that each player would get to bat and score each inning, and that every game would end in a tie. This provided each player the opportunity to round the bases just like the pros, and feel the same sense of pride and joy felt by their peers when they win a game.

Baseball has given Miller and Brown the chance to play the sport they share a passion for. They have spent numerous weekends at the field, and not just in the games. Miller, who has lived with Segawa Syndrome for her whole life, was previously a player. However, because she has been rapidly improving, she is able to volunteer more. She often runs the scoreboard on the weekends, and she occasionally gets to hop in and play a few games.

“I feel like I’ve been there for awhile and I know everyone’s names,” Miller said. “I help people that need help.”

Brown lives with general dystonia, a movement disorder that confines him to a wheelchair. Through the efforts of the volunteers at the Miracle League, he along with many others are able to play the sport they love.

At the head of the Lehigh Valley Miracle League Organization is Kate Miller, Sara Miller’s mother. As executive director, Miller handles fundraising as well as planning winter activities for players.

“Most kids can’t get out of the house in the winter,” Mrs. Miller said, “so I give them opportunities to do things they normally can’t do.”

Sara’s father also plays a role in the Miracle League. As the head baseball coach at Southern Lehigh, Mr. Todd Miller brings his team to the Miracle League to help the players.

“It’s fun to see all the kids come out and have a great time playing the sport they truly love,” sophomore baseball player Alex Knecht said. “I’m proud to be part of their baseball experience.

The Miller family has spent the past nine years dedicating themselves to the Miracle League so children all over the Lehigh Valley can play baseball. Whether that be through the persistent efforts in fundraising by Mrs. Miller, or the countless hours spent volunteering by Sara, the Millers have left a lasting impression on the Miracle League.