SOLANA BEACH — With high-fives from the Padres Swinging Friar and members of the Pad Squad, The Miracle League of San Diego kicked off its 18th season in North County on Sept. 12 at Engel Family Field at San Dieguito Park.
Local sports announcer Ernie Martinez introduced the 10 teams, and former Miss USO San Diego Victoria Robinson sang the national anthem before the Diamondbacks and Storm took the field for the first game.
The Miracle League, founded by Dan and Suzie Engel, provides youngsters with special needs an opportunity to play baseball in an organized league at two locations — the park on the eastern border of Solana Beach and Green Field at Coronado High School.
Spring and fall seasons are held at both locations and accommodate players 5 and older.
Every player is matched with a buddy for the entire season and each buddy is paired with the player based on his or her unique needs.
Games last an hour and are two innings.
All players bat and score to ensure a tie at the end of the game. Announcers are given information about each participant so they have ample material to highlight every player at bat.