After years of fundraising, Miami-Dade County now has the first fully ADA-accessible baseball field designed for children and young adults with disabilities.
On Sunday, the Miracle League of Miami-Dade hosted a ribbon cutting and inaugural game at their new Home Field at Tamiami Park. The facility will provide league access to over 69,000 special needs children and young adults in Miami Dade County from Homestead to North Miami.
"They can now safely traverse the field and enjoy the game like every other child in this county," said Miracle League of Miami-Dade County Co-Chairman, Karl Sturge.
Since 2010 the Miracle League of Miami-Dade has been working to create positive life experiences for children with special needs and their families through baseball.
Yisel Martinez is the mother of triplets and two of her 8-year-olds have special needs. She says this effort was a longtime coming.
"The challenges that they face and the smiles that they have when they go up to bat when the crowd is cheering for them and they feel like wow I am doing something fantastic for myself," Martinez said.
The day was made extra special as the league helped kick off All-Star week with the Miami Marlins by their side.
"Major League [Baseball] and the Miami Marlins have been with us from the beginning and are really instrumental in making today possible," Sturge said.
Sunday's effort was a testament to the community's involvement thanks to the Miami Marlins, Miami-Dade County parks and local coaches-- like South Dade High principal Javi Perez.
"It's something I should have done many years ago, but last season I went out and decided to coach one of the teams and it's been unbelievable the excitement of the kids," Perez said.
If you'd like to get involved with the Miracle League of Miami-Dade, they're always looking for parents and kids who want to play ball.