Eau Claire (WQOW) – The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley was formed to give kids with special needs the opportunity to play baseball. Their season may have ended last week, but their will to play did not.
Wednesday, families and friends came together for one last summer evening at Jeffers Park.
When Miracle League player Kolin Schmitz was asked about his favorite part of baseball, his answer was simple: "Hitting knocks."
America’s past time is a game that means a lot to many.
"To see the smiles on these kids’ faces, being the umpire at least one night a week, I get to see their faces when they get to run home so I get the best seat in the house," volunteer umpire, Shawn Standiford told News 18. "The biggest thing for these kids are, they are all equals out here."
The Miracle League of Chippewa Valley is about just that. It’s a special place where kids of all ages and abilities can come together to enjoy America’s game. Technically, the season ended a week ago, but the players weren’t ready to stop. So Wednesday, Miracle field hosted a special All-Star double header.
"So we have a lot of local kids, for one, but we also have a lot of volunteer buddies and players that are driving up to 60 miles, 60 minutes, some are even coming from the cities to be a buddy one night a week for our little players," Miracle League Coordinator Amy Standiford told News 18.
Which includes Colby Pablik from Rice Lake and his buddy, and cousin, Caitlin Hoefs.
"Seeing the kid’s smiles every week and giving them an opportunity they wouldn’t normally have otherwise is just really heart warming," Hoefs told News 18.
The volunteers, or ‘angels in the outfield’, are much more than just a helping hand.
"It becomes more than just a buddy or a volunteer. It’s a friendship that develops," Shawn Standiford said.
All brought together by friendship, fun, and the love of a game.
The Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley’s season might be over, but they will begin open registration for next season in January.