Sioux Falls, SD
A baseball league in Sioux Falls lets players with disabilities grab a bat and glove to enjoy America's Pastime.
The Miracle League is the first and only league for players with disabilities in South Dakota. The league started in 2008. The teams don't normally play on a Sunday, but yesterday was a unusual day as players from four teams took on some special opponents.
This field for years has been a Field of Dreams for players that normally wouldn't be able to step up to the plate.
"You come out here and I think a lot of people really don't know what to expect and they see kids in walkers and chairs having fun playing the great game of baseball," Lyle Smith of Sioux Empire Baseball said.
With the help of ball buddies, players are able to hit, catch, and run the bases. Everybody that plays gets a hit and scores a run. Brenda Friemuth's son Jadon has played in the league for three years.
"It gives them a chance to play. Otherwise being on a regular team, they don't get the opportunity so here everybody gets the chance to play the same as any other," Mother Brenda Friemuth said.
There was some tough competition for the players yesterday as the South Dakota Highway Patrol challenged them to a game.
The Miracle League Players easily picked up the win.
"We were really confident. I told them, sometimes the bigger they are the harder they fall, and they fell hard," Smith said.
Even though the final score wasn't in their favor, the Highway Patrol volunteers was just happy to be on the field with real winners.
"This is about the kids and the community. Anytime we can be involved with something other than where people normally see us out on the road. We want to be part of the community," Lieutenant Jeff Devaney said.
No matter the opponent, Friemuth is just grateful that her son is able to step on a baseball diamond and play ball.
"Thank you for helping everybody out. It's not always an easy opportunity," Friemuth said.
An opportunity that means way more than who wins and who loses.
Captain Alan Welsh of the Highway Patrol volunteered as a ball buddy earlier this year, and he wanted to set up a game with his co-workers.
The youth league plays Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the adult league plays Mondays and Fridays.