Ripken Baseball announced that Miracle League baseball teams from around the country will participate in games and tournaments this summer at two nationally recognized complexes. The Ripken Experience® Pigeon Forge (Tennessee) and The Ripken Experience® Elizabethtown (Kentucky) will donate field time and operational expertise this summer to allow children and adults with special needs to have a Big League Experience.
Ripken Baseball will create an inclusive environment where the players feel like Big Leaguers on the state-of-the-art fields, complete with walk-up music, umpires, and VIP treatment. Miracle League teams play on turf fields that accommodate wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping to prevent injuries. The Miracle League and Ripken Baseball will remove the barriers that keep children and adults with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and will let them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime.
“The Miracle League does a tremendous job making our sport more accessible and inclusive for all players,” said Ripken Baseball Co-Founder Cal Ripken, Jr. “When Billy and I founded Ripken Baseball, we wanted to offer a taste of the Big League experience for youth teams and their families. We’re thrilled to team up with Miracle League this summer in Pigeon Forge and Elizabethtown and give their players a travel baseball memory they’ll cherish forever.”
“At the Miracle League, we want to give every player the same opportunities to have an incredible baseball experience,” said three-time MLB All-Star Sean Casey, Founder of the Miracle League of the South Hills. “Ripken Baseball helps us take that experience to the next level. Our families, players, and coaches look forward to creating lifelong memories this summer and showing them what it’s like to play the Ripken Way.”
The following Miracle Leagues will travel to Pigeon Forge from July 30 to Aug. 2, 2023:
- Pittsburgh, PA -- Miracle League of the South Hills (host league)
- Sioux City, IA -- Miracle League of Sioux City
- Cincinnati, OH -- Joe Nuxhall Miracle League
- Hamilton, NJ -- Miracle League of Mercer County
The following Miracle Leagues will travel to Elizabethtown from July 16-21, 2023:
- Louisville, KY – Miracle League of Louisville
For anyone looking to support the Miracle Leagues and their athletes, contact Tim Gebhart, Executive Director of the Miracle League of the South Hills at email@example.com.
The Miracle League has participated in Ripken Baseball events in past years, including a collaboration with the Miracle League of Frisco during the Ripken Select Tournament in Texas in 2022.
Across the country, the Miracle League creates an environment where the players and their families can make new friends and build self-esteem. To help the players, the Miracle League uses a “buddy” system – pairing each player with a non-disabled peer. The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Georgia, in April 2000. There are presently 350 plus Miracle League Organizations across the country, including Puerto Rico and Canada, serving 450,000 plus children and adults.