Miracle Field Opens Saturday in Acton
Disabled kids will open their fall baseball season on Sept. 15 with plenty of friends and fans on hand.
The Acton Board of Selectmen approved a measure allowing the Miracle League Field Project at NARA Park to move forward at its Monday night meeting at Acton Town Hall.
The field will be knonw as The Joseph Lalli Miracle Field and will allow children with physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional disabilities to play baseball in an organized, non-competitive league for six weeks every fall and every spring at no cost to their families. Depending on a player's disability, volunteers may help with hitting the ball, running the bases or playing in the field. Players with attention deficit disorders will get some help with focusing on the game.
The Miracle League of Massachusetts was established in 2008 by Acton residents Andy and Lauren Richardt, who wanted to give disabled kids a chance to experience being part of a baseball team. It is run by volunteers and funded by charitable donations, with no expenses incurred by the Town of Acton. Space at the NARA Park was donated free of charg to the Miracle League by a unanimous Town Meeting vote.
At a previous meeting, Selectmen approved a motion that allows a facility to be named after an individual who did not live in Acton but did charitable work for the town.
The late Joseph Lalli was a resident of Maynard who was active in philanthropy. A plaque bearing his name will be installed at the field. Selectmen will approve the design and placement of the plaque at a future meeting.
Funding for the $425,000 project came from matching grants from the Steinberg-Lalli Charitable Foundation, a Father's Day Funfest and a 5K Miracle League fundraising event.
The field contains a flat rubberized surface so children with mobility issues or who use wheelchairs will be able to navigate around on their own or with assistance.
The fall baseball season at Miracle Field will run on Saturdays from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20. Organizers say the most gratifying aspects of the project are the friendships that are formed among the players and volunteers, and the joy of disabled children who are given an opportunity to experience being part of a baseball team.