BOSTON (CBS) – Some local children with disabilities finally have their "Field of Dreams" to play on in Massachusetts.
Every Saturday, hundreds of kids and more than 200 volunteers from the Miracle League travel from near and far to make their way to the Joseph Lalli Miracle Field in Acton. The special field, the first of its kind in Massachusetts, just opened last week to rave reviews.
The field is made completely of rubber, offering the children a safe place to play America's pastime and let them feel like they're on a big league field all at once. It has a Fenway Park-like scoreboard, and its own version of the "Green Monster."
"It's a special place for them to come," said Miracle League co-founder Lauren Richart. "They're used to their siblings playing in baseball games, and they couldn't do that. Now they have their own special field and it means so much to them to come out and have a dugout, an announcer; it's their own field and they're so excited about it."
"We used to play in a field that was in a local school… every morning you had to make sure it didn't rain or it would ruin the day because the field was muddy," said 98.5 The Sports Hub's Rich Shertenlieb, who has been involved with the Miracle League since arriving in Boston seven years ago, and also announces the games every Saturday. "Now it's so safe for the kids and it feels like a real baseball field… They are finally playing on a field they deserve."
Rich Shertenlieb On The Miracle League:
"I like the smoothness of the rubber; it's a lot easier to move around," said Justin Moy, who had just finished rounding the bases. "It's a lot nicer; the dugout isn't as crowded as the old field."
All of it was put together thanks to donations, big and small, from nearly everywhere.
"This was all kids coming up and saying we had a bake sale, or parents coming up and saying our son wants to give his allowance to build the field," said Shertelieb. "Near the end we had a few big donations – we had one for $100,000 that ended up putting us over the top from Joseph Lalli and his family, who the field is named after."
"It means a lot to me because it shows people care, and caring is a very good virtue to have," said Justin. "It's a great experience and anybody who can do it, should do it… There's nothing like baseball."
Justin Of The Miracle League:
And the Miracle League is just getting started. It's already grown from two teams to now eight, and they're hoping to build more fields like it around the state.
"We hope this is the first of many we can build," said Shertenlieb. "We have kids that drive in from NH, from all over. People make an hour drive to get here, so hopefully this is the start of something big."
For more information on how volunteer or donate, log on to MiracleLeagueMA.com.
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