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It’s all about having fun: Miracle League holds opening day
Miracle League
Players run bases (above) and bat (below) on Saturday during opening day of the spring season for Miracle League of Cumming-Forsyth County, a baseball league for those with special needs. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

While the weather has cooled off a bit, Saturday was warm, sunny and a perfect day to play ball.

Officials with Miracle League of Cumming-Forsyth County hosted its opening day at Coal Mountain Park on Saturday, which has a special rubber field for Miracle League baseball games. 

Frank Perissi, a board member with the local league, said the games are important for those with special needs and their parents.  

“Some kids might be in a wheelchair. Some kids might be nonverbal. Some kids are just out here to have a good time,” he said. “But also for the parents and the families, we have all these great buddies who volunteer from the local high schools … without them, we can’t play because the parents get to sit in the stands and actually cheer their kids on. We have free concessions for them. We have parents in the stands, and buddies with the kids making sure they are protected and safe, while also having fun.”

Miracle League
The league pairs players with special needs with buddies who help them play the game.

As part of the opening day festivities, Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow threw the ceremonial first pitch, outgoing Miracle League officials were celebrated and the firefighters with the Forsyth County Fire Department were on-hand with a fire truck those in attendance could check out. 

“Miracle League has been around for about 12 years … we were very happy today to have the mayor of Cumming, Troy Brumbalow, throw out the opening pitch,” Perissi said. “Chief Danny Bowman from Forsyth County Fire [Department] always loves to help support our Miracle League network, and our kids love the firetruck. The staff that comes with that are absolutely amazing.”

Janice and David Leitch said their son, Connor, had played in the local league at least 10 years.

“A lot of the people who were here originally are still here, which is really nice,” David Leitch said. “Super coaches and all the board members have been great over the years, and the league itself has grown, which has been nice. And they accommodated, as our son got older and certainly more powerful hitters as time goes back, and they adapted to that as well.”

Janice Leitch said besides playing ball, Miracle League is also important for players to become more social.

“I think the socialization is really big because they have peer buddies that are friendly and have fun with Connor,” she said. “He thrives on people with senses of humor and likes to have fun. It’s been a fun experience for him.”

“It’s good physically, too, so that’s a good thing,” David Leitch said. 

Perissi said Miracle League is looking for new players and volunteers.

“As we age out some of our kids, we’re looking for new people to start participating and having fun,” he said. 

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