Archive for League Development

The smell of the grass, the breeze on the face and a new season is underway

playball I received a note from Joe at the City of Surprise on the new Buddy Ball season that just got underway and he’s got over 74 athletes this year! 

That is just about 100% more than last year and very much within projections for a new league for the second full year of operation.

I also got to speak with Stephanie the other day and we have some new developments here at MLoAZ that are afoot – stay tuned for more details but suffice it to say it will mean a chance to move our mission forward.

She also informed me that the MLB Umpire Association has adopted Miracle League as a favored charity – we’ll see in the next few months what that will mean.

Lastly for this update, it looks like the YMCA in Maryvale is opening a Miracle League field! This is a great development – I am trying to get hold of the team over there to see if we can lend a hand.

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Miracle League of Arizona Announces 2007 Stakeholder Recruitment Drive

Click here for 2007 Miracle League of Arizona Stakeholder Recruitment Drive Flyer

Click here for a 2007 Miracle League of Arizona Brochure

Miracle League of Arizona is interested in promoting special needs baseball, anywhere and anyway it is played in Arizona.

MLoA_Small This means that if we can recommend City of Surprise Bambino Buddy Ball / Miracle League to an athlete, we’ll do so every time it is appropriate to do so. 

We’re doing so for the City of Phoenix in the Reach 11 facility as well and likewise, we’re interested in seeing a Miracle League of Arizona field built in North Scottsdale.  The Scottsdale Unified School District / the City of Scottsdale has already provided the land – it’s up to us to use it.

We’re first promoting the sport of baseball for the special needs community – and tonight at Dream Catcher Park, the reasons why came through. 

One of the athletes last year used crutches to PICT7138 move between the bases; this year he’s decided that the crutches are too much of a hindrance and has now, through sheer determination, begun running the bases on his own, without the use of crutches. 

His Dad has told me it’s what he said he wants to do, because of Miracle League – he wants to run the bases without the crutches.

Another athlete that has been with us since last season was always too shy to connect with players and coaches; now because of the socialization / interaction that sports promotes / allows / demands, she was just a little chatterbox tonight, talking to everyone and just beaming as she ran the bases. 

Her Mom commented on it tonight as they were leaving the field it was because her involvement in these programs.

CoS_Opening_Season_2007 050I’m not sure I knew all the benefits that came out of Miracle League when we started years back, but I do now – these kids develop physically, mentally and socially because of their involvement. 

I’m proud to be a part of it.

We want you, as a supporter of Miracle League to add your voice to ours – sign-on as a stakeholder today; fill out the 2007 Miracle League of Arizona Stakeholder Recruitment Drive form and mail / fax it in, send us an email with your contact information (name, email address, phone, mailing, etc.)  We are asking that you allow us to count you among the supporters of special needs baseball in Arizona.

Donate if you can, share your time if you can; What we want right now is your heart – your voice, speaking in unison with ours when it comes to special needs baseball in Arizona.

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City of Surprise – Thank you for the vision of the outgoing Mayor

Gene Udvare and I were able to visit yesterday with the outgoing Mayor of the City of Surprise, Mayor Joan Shafer and to make a small presentation to congratulate the city on their 2007 inaugural season, to thank her for the vision and support for special needs kids in the Valley of the Sun and for recognizing Miracle League of Arizona and our contribution to the effort.

CoS_Mayor_Presentation Our understanding, and the way she told the story, is that it was the Mayors Office who initiated the plan to build Dream Catcher Park. 

Over five years and many discussions and debates in the city council chambers over funding and focus, it was the Mayors Office who carried the banner of the field forward to completion.  Dream Catcher Park is truly the crown-jewel of the special needs baseball network in Arizona.

Miracle League or Arizona had contact with the Mayors Office in the early stages of the projects development; it was the very same HBO video that launched a thousand leagues that launched this field development effort and it was the same interest in benefiting the special needs community that saw both efforts come to bear in the State of Arizona.

Miracle League of Arizona continues to promote special needs baseball in the state of Arizona and we’re happy to have recognized Mayor Shafer for her vision, her support and her dedication in seeing this field made into reality for the special needs community in the Northwest Valley.

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Social Media for a Special Needs Community

Social media is a new way to connect communities, both on the web and off. It is an Internet-based tactic, to be sure, but by connecting online as well as off, we share more of ourselves and what makes us a community. 

facebook-logo The most popular tool for connecting in an online social network is called Facebook, you may have read something about it recently.  Membership in Facebook is at no charge at all; it is free to anyone who wishes to join.

With that introduction, I will invite you all to the Miracle League of Arizona group on Facebook.  It’s a place to connect in a new way, extend our community beyond the usual and to find out more about each other as we share ourselves, our experiences and our ideas for baseball in the special needs community here in Arizona.

I work professionally in social media and it’s application to business, so setting up this group was a natural for me.  I’ve recently been asked to examine how social media can be used in the non-profit realm as well, so this is one of the ways I find out how it works.

Here is the link – welcome to the social side of the Internet!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5600966476

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Ready to Play Ball – all across the Valley!

The 2007-2008 season is almost upon us and we know the athletes cannot hardly wait!

Last seasons inaugural season was a great turning point for the special needs community in Arizona – the City of Surprise opened the first ever baseball field and Miracle League of Arizona was proud to be a part of it from opening day through closing ceremonies and every practice and game in between.

Our mission is to support special needs baseball in the state of Arizona.  We would like every special needs baseball program to be Miracle League branded, but we recognize that the important aspect of what we do is support the development of the athletes and the community that comes together around baseball.

The City of Surprise has announced open registration for the next season (click here to visit the registration page) and while we do not yet have any details, we are expecting to hear from the City of Phoenix on the opening of the Reach 11 facility sometime in September.

Here are a few picture from the Phoenix facility taken just a few days ago.

8.24.07 8.21.07 Field 2 (2)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2007 End of Season Blowout – Already Getting Ready for September!

Collage of pics from end of seasonThe end of season is here and with it, the a combination of relief, sorrow and anticipation; releif because Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights are back to spend with family and friends and for us, not having to drive 29 miles round trip at rush hour to be with the teams, sorrow because the community we enjoy in Miracle League is dissipating, but anticipation because we can see how the fall season will be even bigger and better!

The pictures tell it all but the final practice, the final game and the big community BBQ blowout after the leap…

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Practice, Practice, Practice – Making a Miracle League Athlete

pict6977.jpgLast night was the final practice before the season opener for the City of Surpise Buddy Ball Miracle League 2007 Spring Season.  Under the lights, in the cool of the evening, kids playing baseball… what a treat…

The Practices serve to orient the players, the buddies and the officials so that the games come off fun and safe for the players.  Last night the athletes were proving their game ready form and getting ready for Opening Day.

If you’d like come out and watch (email us if you want to participate), here are the details –

  • What – City of Surprise Buddy Ball Miracle League 2007 Opening Game
  • When – Saturday, April 7 at 6:30PM
  • Where – DreamCatcher Park, 14534 W. Tierra Buena Lane, Surprise, Arizona (turn on Tierra Buena, about 1/2 block on the north side)
  • Who – Miracle League Supporters / Stakeholders / Athletes and interested parties

Come support the athletes and share in the fun… see the pictures for more of the story…

CoS Final Practice

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