Nats' mascot Screech plays with the athletes at the opening of Miracle Field in Germantown, Md. Aug. 1.
Baseball is known as America's pastime, but physical and mental disabilities may keep some would-be athletes from enjoying it. But at the newly opened Miracle Field in Germantown, no one has to be left out.
The Kiwanis Club of Bethesda, in conjunction the Washington Nationals, the Miracle League and a number others, have been working over the last year to make baseball more accessible for children in Montgomery County.
The Washington Nationals Miracle Field in Germantown, Md. opened Monday.
The field is completely flat and made of rubber, so it's safe and accessible for children with physical and mental challenges. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett says the facility is a symbol of equality.
"Today, when you look around, you see not only a baseball field, but an equal playing field," he says.
For local parent Gina Mitchell, the field means a new opportunity for her daughter, Devin.
"Breaks it down a little bit more to make it simpler, which ultimately makes it a lot more fun for her," she says.
According to Stephanie Weishaar, the Miracle Field offers a chance for children without disabilities, like her son Ben, to bond and play with children that may be different than themselves.
"They have a program called 'Buddies' where they bring an able bodied young guy in to help the special needs kids get around the bases," she says.
And it gives Sue Shawhan yet another reason to proudly support her grandson Will.
"Well I love to see him excited about this and interested and this," she says.
The field was built to accommodate children with special needs, but it will be open to anyone who wants to play ball.
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