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Miracle League of San Diego has a ball with celebrity pitchers

SOLANA BEACH — San Diego Padres manager Bud Black couldn’t record a single out when he took to the mound recently. No, it wasn’t any attempt at a comeback, the affable manager came out to the Engel Family Field Oct. 22 in support of The Miracle League of San Diego’s second annual Celebrity Pitcher Day.
The event, which is spearheaded by Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell and former Padre Mark Loretta and active board member of the Miracle League, gave the kids an opportunity to face Major League pitching, all while dressed up in Halloween costumes.
“It just demonstrates the commitment of the Padres and the community,” said Dan Engel, co-founder and president of The Miracle League of San Diego. “Having these pitchers come out just enlarges our family and makes us feel really good…to combine it with Halloween just makes it more fun.”
“I took a pounding today,” Black said. “I don’t think I registered an out.”
Participating in the event, he said, and what this league stands for is something that the Padres want to be a part of.
“It is such an energy-filled afternoon and so much positive mojo coming from these kids and parents. They get to play baseball,” Black added.
Bell has been a part of the Miracle League ever since he joined the Padres organization. It’s something that is important to him and to his family, with one daughter in the league and two others who volunteer.
“Everybody’s out here smiling, having a great time. This is the way it is every week…it’s a good time for the kids to get out of the house and enjoy and just be a kid. I’m honored to be out here and be a part of it,” Bell said.
The day served as a representation of their community spirit, Engel said. With such a high demand for a Miracle League expansion, Engel said they were looking to build a second field in the South Bay. A lot of what was happening within the community, the stands and on the field was what they are looking bring to the South Bay, because of the huge demand throughout San Diego County.
“We’re looking forward to building that second field to serve more in the South Bay,” Engel said.
The day also saw former Chargers standout Junior Seau throw off the mound, including Cy Young Award-winner Randy Jones.
As for not recording an out: “That’s why they call it the off-season; we’ve got stuff to work on,” Bell said.

1 comment

A Buddy for Miracles November 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

The ‘Major League’ pitchers were amazing and Junior Seau is a true super-hero for sharing with us. Every game, I am transported to a special place with a chance to make a small idifference for my player and count my blessings. I wish the real little league teams – coaches, players and parents would come to see a Miracle League game. See our special players in wheel chairs, struggling to walk, hold a bat, get high fives and big cheers from everyone. For one hour each week, an autistic child, Down Syndrome player, players with many challenges physical and mental become STARS, and all games end in a tie cuz everyone wins., Ther are no bullies, no putdowns, no bad words, no player who is left out. Patience and encouragement rule. Laughter, smiles, lots of grand slams too. For one hour, each player is the most valuable, wildly cheered. There are no outs. There are real major league uniforms, helmets, dugouts, awesome announcer shouting each player’s name when they are at bat and play by play as the players run the bases and cross home plate giving a run to their team. Take me out to a ball game, give me a hot dog, but mostly, remind me that every child, no matter ability or dis-ability deserves opportunity to shine like the strs in the sky. Miracle League is more than baseball, a score on the scoreboard. Every player, each season receives a real trophy with their name on it. I wish it was on TV, like the world series, cuz our world needs more humility, more equality and fer sure, more buddies for these children. Not just at MIracle League either.

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