For the second year in a row, coinciding with fall practice, the Charlotte baseball team continued to visit the Miracle League to work as volunteers with special needs children who want a chance to play the game of baseball. The Miracle League is an international program that allows children and young adults with special needs the ability to play the game of baseball at a specially-designed facility.
After the facility at the University YMCA opened September 15, 2012, the 49ers made regular Saturday visits last fall to assist with league games and the kids that signed up to play. This fall, players went back to continue to work games with kids as the program grows. There are 250 Miracle League Organizations nationwide and in Puerto Rico and Canada, including one member league in Australia. The League serves more than 200,000 shildren and young adults with disabilities.
The local facility was entirely donated and is the only wheelchair-accessible field in Western North Carolina. The Charlotte Knights, including minority partner Bill Allen, were a huge part of the efforts to get the field in Charlotte. There are similar facilities built in Cary, High Point, Wilmington, Smithfield and Bunn. Children from as far away as an hour were expected to sign up. Over 40 kids were registered for the first games there, with expectations of over 100 in the near future. The home plate dedication ceremony was July 24, 2012.
Redshirt sophomore Patric King (Indian Trail, N.C. / Piedmont HS) went to head coach Loren Hibbs in the spring of 2012 and asked if he could get the team involved. King chose the University YMCA to serve his summer internship as part of his Levine Scholarship, which directs scholars to serve a summer with a local non-profit organization.The field is located behind the waterpark at the university City YMCA, near the intersection of W.T. Harris Blvd. and Mallard Creek Rd. The YMCA has a call out to other volunteers to be a "buddy" to these youngsters. For more information, go to www.ymcamiracleleague.org