The South Fulton Miracle League’s fall season is underway. The league held their first game on September 12 at Welcome All Park.
The Miracle League was first launched in 2000 in Georgia. It has since evolved into a global program that helps remove the barriers that keep players with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field.
The South Fulton chapter has operated as a nonprofit organization in the area for 15 years at Welcome All Park. Games have two innings. Everyone bats, everyone gets a chance to cross home plate and everyone wins.
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(Photos: South Fulton Miracle League, under the leadership of President Karen Nunnally, ended a winning spring season in May 2019)
“The South Fulton Miracle League is one of the longest-running partner programs in our department,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tony Phillips. “They provide a unique and much needed service for special needs families, children and adults in our community.”
Karen Nunnally, president of the South Fulton Miracle League says the support from the parks department has been a big help.
“Since 2004, Welcome All Park has allowed us to come here and play our games inside the gym,” she said. “Our dream is to be a full-fledged Miracle League so that our children can have the same advantages that other children have.”
The league’s ultimate goal is to build a “Miracle Field.” The custom handicap-accessible field provides a cushioned synthetic surface that accommodates wheelchairs and walkers and helps to prevent injuries. The group is seeking sponsorship and corporate donations to make the dream a reality.
In the meantime, while the league might operate on a tiny budget, there’s no shortage of love and support for its players. For some of the participants, the league been like a second family for years, and has offered extraordinary opportunities like meeting players from the Atlanta Braves.
Jackie Sellers, now 28, started playing with the league as a child.
“It’s been awesome,” her mother said. “I don’t care what I do during the day, or how tired I am. I get here for Jackie.”
In addition to the support of the park and parents, the league largely depends on the help of volunteers. Past supporters have included Morehouse School of Medicine, Morehouse College Baseball Team, New Life Presbyterian Church, Impact Church and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Sloan Gourmet Catering and Dr. Jeannette Sabur.
“It has been my honor to volunteer and to help out wherever needed,” said Dr. Sabur at the end-of-the-season celebration in May. “You guys have inspired me so much. I came out to help you, but you have really helped me. You have touched my heart.”
During the next game on September 26, the Banneker High School JROTC and Color Guard will serve as volunteers. Volunteers are also needed for games on October 10 and October 24, and for upcoming seasons.
All games begin at 5:45 p.m. at Welcome All Park in the gym, and dinner is provided for players, parents and volunteers. Registration is $50 and players with any physical or mental disability are welcome.
For more information, call (470) 809-PARK or access the CivicRec app via the city of South Fulton’s website.