January 03, 2019
By: Cassie Schmidt
The Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley was founded in 2006. The organization is dedicated to providing kids with special needs or other developmental disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. The Miracle League has an absolutely beautiful facility built and designed specifically for these kids and their needs. But as you may know, baseball is played during the Spring. So what do these kids do during the “offseason”? Well, thanks to Hitter’s Edge in Whitehall, they give these kids the perfect opportunity to still be able to swing the bat a bit.
I have worked with the Miracle League before and have done stories at their turf field during the Spring time and it is an experience like no other. First of all, the facility itself is something you have never seen before. Then being able to see what a facility and organization like the Miracle League offers is truly heart warming. Being to the top of the line facility before, I was just as eager to head on over to Hitter’s Edge to see what they had in store for these children. I have also been to Hitter’s Edge before and they too have a wonderful facility for birthday parties, baseball/softball training or even batting cages for those that just want to get a couple practice swings in.
This was one of four events held for the Miracle League during the winter months and oh boy was it a hit! The event started out with volunteers helping the kids with their technique and put them through some hitting drills. After they were all warmed up, it was time for the whiffle ball game! During that time, each of the kids got to hit two times and there were even a few home runs and grand slams! While the event was for about an hour, not once did those kids stop smiling and neither did I.
In talking with the Executive Director of the Miracle League of the LV, Kristy McKeever, she said how these kids look forward to every event held at Hitter’s Edge. They enjoy being able to still play baseball even when it is too cold outside to do so. She also talked on how important it truly is for them to still get out, burn some energy and interact with friends during this time. I also chatted with the General Manager of Hitter’s Edge, Dan Villanti, who is also an Executive Board Member for the Miracle League and he and some of the kids that are apart of their Rising Stars program were the ones to help put on the event. He expressed that, “tons of people come in and out of our doors here at Hitter’s Edge, but none are as special as these kids”. He stressed the importance of the kids volunteering and how much fun they have with the Miracle League kids. In talking with Kristy and Dan, they both could not stress enough how although this was an event for the kids of the Miracle League, the impression and impact the kids leave on them is one of the greatest things you can ever feel.
I hope I am able to attend more of the Miracle League of the LV events this Winter, like their arts & crafts or bowling. While I was there as a reporter on that day, it was absolutely no better way to spend a Saturday morning. Stories like these are certainly ones that leave a lasting impression on me, and truly make me love what I do even more.
— You can catch my story on the Miracle League Baseball Clinic on Lehigh Valley Sports Scene tomorrow (Jan. 4th) at 6, 6:30pm and 10pm on Channel 2/502 HD —