The Miracle League concept was developed in Conyers, GA in 2000 to help children with special needs play the game of baseball. Most Miracle Leagues play on custom-designed fields that feature cushioned, rubberized surfaces to help prevent injuries, accessible dugouts and completely flat surfaces (no raised bases or pitching mounds) to eliminate any barriers to wheel-chair bound or visually impaired players.
The game itself is played in a unique way. Each player bats once each inning; all batters are "safe" and score a run before the inning is over. Games are two innings long and each team and each player always wins.
Since 2009, Pirates Charities and the Pirates organization have actively supported Miracle League programs in the greater Pittsburgh region and Manatee County, Florida. Currently, Pirates Charities is working with eight individual Miracle League programs that provide children and adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in the great sport of baseball.
Today, there are more than 275 Miracle League organizations serving more than 200,000 participants across the world, including Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia.
The Miracle League of Southwestern PA was the first Miracle League partnership for Pirates Charities. The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field was opened in May 2009 and continues to grow and flourish today. More than 500 youth and adults participate in three divisions - Miracle Division (for youth between the ages of 5 and 17), Competitive Division (for youth between the ages of 5 and 17 with more advanced skills) and an Adult Division (for participants 18 years of age and older). The field is located within the Dick's Sportsplex at Graham Park. For more information, please visit www.mlswpa.org.
Pirates and Miracle League to build field - 7/9/08 »
Pirates Charities and Miracle League of SWPA open first Pittsburgh field - 5/16/09 »
Miracle League Field Grand Opening Video - 5/16/09
Miracle League Field Grand Opening Photo Gallery - 5/16/09
2009 Pirates Charities Miracle League Holiday Party Video
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field of the South Hills (near Upper St. Clair, PA) opened in 2012. This project was spearheaded by former Major League player and Pittsburgh native Sean Casey and his wife Mandi. Pirates Charities provided financial support for the project and worked with Sean to generate awareness for the effort. Over 200 youth and adults participate in the South Hills program. A specially designed, accessible playground was added to the complex in 2015. Pirates Charities provided additional funding for this expansion. For more information, please visit www.miracleleaguesouthhills.org.
The Bill Mazeroski Miracle League Field opened in Murrysville in 2012. The Murrysville program was started by the local Rotary Club of Murrysville-Export and the Municipality of Murrysville. This field is the largest in the region, and the complex also includes an accessible basketball court, fitness trail and picnic pavilion. More than 100 children and adults belong to the program. Pirates Charities contributed financially to the development of this project and assisted with various fundraising efforts. For more information, please visit www.mlwpa.org.
In May of 2015, the Miracle League of Indiana County hosted its grand opening. Indiana, PA is located approximately 90 minutes from the City of Pittsburgh. The Indiana County YMCA partnered with Pirates Charities on the construction of the field, and now operates the Miracle League program. To date, more than 130 youth and adults participate. Pirates Charities provided financial support to assist with the construction of the field. For more information, please visit www.icymca.org.
The Miracle League of Blair County is located in Altoona, PA, which is approximately a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh. Altoona is also the home of the Pirates AA Affiliate, the Altoona Curve. Pirates Charities supports the Blair County program with funding and in-kind donations. Approximately 150 participants belong to the Blair County Miracle League. For more information, please visit www.pamiracleleague.com.
Morgantown, WV is the home of the Pirates A Affiliate the West Virginia Black Bears. The Miracle League of Morgantown has a strong partnership with the Black Bears, and Pirates Charities provides additional funding and in-kind donations. There are 80 youth and adults participating in the program.
In May 2013, the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley held its first game. Pirates Charities, Ogden Newspapers, the J. B. Chambers Foundation, the City of Wheeling, and the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley were major contributors to the project. The Ohio Valley Miracle League Field is located within the J.B. Chambers Complex and is run under the auspices of the local YMCA. There are 100 total participants in the program.
The Miracle League of Manasota began in February 2012, when the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles partnered to begin the program in their Spring Training homes. The Pirates train in Bradenton, Florida and the Orioles train in Sarasota, Florida. Both teams contributed financially to the project, and continue to provide support to this day. There are more than 150 participants in the program. For more information, please visit www.miracleleaguemanasota.org.
Each year, Pirates Charities partners with the Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids program to provide half-day Fantasy Camps at selected Miracle League Fields. In 2016, Fantasy Camps are scheduled in Manasota during Spring Training, the South Hills, Murrysville and Morgantown, WV.