The Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania (MLSWPA) was formed in January 2007 and is dedicated to providing the opportunity for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities to play organized baseball.
In addition to organizing a league for special needs children and adults, the MLSWPA built a facility that meets the unique needs of this special group of children and adults. Affiliated with the National Miracle League Baseball organization, the MLSWPA reached an agreement with Cranberry Township to integrate a Miracle League Field into the baseball complex that the Township developed in the new Graham Park.
Opening Day for the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania was on May 16, 2009. The MLSWPA is committed to expanding its offerings and support to special needs children and adults in Western Pennsylvania.
The mission of the Miracle League of Southwestern PA (MLSWPA) is to provide the opportunity for children and adults with special needs a chance to experience playing baseball in a league-based environment. MLSWPA provides leadership and facilities for a baseball program for children and adults with special needs in a manner consistent with MLSWPA and community values. With a specially designed rubber turf field, MLSWPA makes dreams come true for children and adults who desire to play ball just like their brothers, sisters and friends. All Directors, Officers, affiliated local athletic associations and volunteers shall bear in mind that the attainment of exceptional athletic skill or the winning of games is secondary, and the molding of future citizens is of prime importance.
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field is located in Graham Park in Cranberry Township, PA. It has an all-weather rubberized surface and is handicap accessible. There are no raised surfaces to interfere with crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs.
The Pirates Charities Miracle League Field is equipped with an electonic scoreboard, public address system, covered dugouts, restroom facilities, a drinking fountain, a covered pavillion, and a storage shed. A player dropoff area is available for easy access to the field. A large parking lot is available within a short walking distance.
10,568 square feet
14,900 square feet including dugouts and foul areas
Baselines: 50 feet
Home plate to centerfield plate: 115 feet
Pitcher’s mound to home plate: 33 feet
Baseline to dugout: 21 feet
Throughout its 121-year history, the Pittsburgh Pirates have developed deep-rooted relationships throughout the Pittsburgh region. The Pirates have supported many non-profit and civic organizations through itsconsiderable charitable and community efforts, specifically its charitable giving, memorabilia, merchandise and ticket donations, and volunteer efforts.
Under the direction of Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting, the Pittsburgh Pirates organization’s mission is to strive for excellence in every aspect of the organization, including the way the organization interacts with the community, its business partners and its fans.
Although the organization is extremely active in the community, the management team decided it could be more effective in its philanthropic efforts and make an even greater impact in meeting the needs of the region. As a result, the Pirates formed Pirates Charities as its defined philanthropic arm in late 2006.
Pirates Charities has been established as a 501(c) (3) organization with a focus on three core areas of youth health, fitness and education. Based on these core areas, the objective of Pirates Charities is outlined in the charitable foundation’s mission statement:
Pirates Charities is committed to strengthening the community by supporting organizations and programs aimed at improving the lives of children and adults in the greater Pittsburgh region. Pirates Charities places a special emphasis on supporting youth programs focused on health, fitness, and education by developing partnerships with those who share in our mission.
By focusing its charitable contributions of both time and funds in this manner, Pirates Charities will enable the Pirates to support programs that align with its mission and allow the organization to continue its already established community relations activities. As a result, Pirates Charities will increase the impact of the Pirates charitable support throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Pirates Charities is a recognized 501(c) (3) charitable organization. The official registration and financial information of Pirates Charities may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
For more information:
OTHER MIRACLE LEAGUES
Miracle League of South Hills (caseysclubhouse.org)
Miracle League of Western Pennsylvania(www.mlwpa.org)
Miracle League of Indiana County (www.icymca.org/?miracle/)
Miracle League of the Ohio Valley (no website, phone 304-242-1390 through local Easter Seals)
Frequently asked questions
What is the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania?
The Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania is an organized baseball league for special needs children and adults which enables these children and adults to develop socialization skills and have fun by playing baseball at a field specially designed for them. The Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a registered 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2007. The field is at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Sportsplex at Graham Park in Cranberry Township. Opening Day for the Miracle League happened May 16, 2009. The national Miracle League organization was started in Conyers, Georgia in 1997 and since then more than 90 Miracle League fields have been built all over the country and another 100 are under construction or in various stages of development.
My child has never played baseball or any other sport; can he or she participate in this league?
Every child and adult, no matter his or her level of ability, can participate in the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Miracle League is made up of three divisions to allow for players of varying ability and age. For more information on the three divisions in the Miracle League go to the Play page.
Where are the games be played and when?
All games are played on the Miracle League Field located in the baseball field complex of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Sportplex at Graham Park in Cranberry Township.
How is the game played? How long is a game?
Typically each game lasts about 75 to 90 minutes. For the Miracle Division, the games are non-competitive in nature, with each player batting, running the bases and scoring each inning. Volunteers called “Buddies” will be assigned to each individual to assist throughout the game. There are no losers in this game, only winners with the score tied at the end of each game. The focus is more on participation than on winning. Click Here for more information on the Youth Competitive Division and Adult Division.
Do I need to bring anything?
Only yourselves and whatever you require for the care of your child. Before the beginning of each season every participant will receive a shirt and cap that is to be worn at each game. They should bring with them a baseball glove to be used during the the game. A full service concession stand is located near to the field and ADA-compliant restroom facilities and a family changing area are also available
What are Buddies and how do they help?
Each player will have a “Buddy” at each game. This Buddy is there to protect the player from balls, assist the player in batting and running the bases and to be a friend on and off the field. Depending on the availability and number of Buddies, the plan is to have them assigned to the same child for the whole season. Buddies will be given a Miracle League shirt for their participation. They are expected to arrive 30 minutes before the start of the game and to notify the Miracle League Buddy coordinator at least twenty-four hours prior to the game if they will not be able to make a game. Buddies start at age 12. The siblings, parents, relatives, and friends of players are eligible to be Buddies.
What is the Miracle League field like?
The Miracle League field in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Sportsplex at Graham Park in Cranberry Township is totally handicapped accessible. It has a synthetic surface that allows easy use of wheel chairs, walkers, and other adaptive devices. There are is also convenient access to restrooms and parking.
How can I volunteer?
The Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania needs a variety of volunteers to organize and play games. A typical game needs 40 volunteers to be able to play. Volunteers are needed to be managers, coaches, Buddies, umpires, team parents, and for general help like registration, equipment and field maintenance. Click Here for more information.
Are there registration fees?
We welcome donations to help with the costs of operating the league, the uniforms and equipment. No child will be turned away because of an inability to pay. A nominal registration fee is charge each season. Scholarships are available if you have difficulty paying. The MLSWPA partners with other local ML’s with a centralized registration system at www.MiracleLeagueBaseball.org. Click Here for more information and to register.
How can I donate to the MLSWPA?
There are several ways you can help. Click here for more information.