NewsPinellas County


Baseball field for kids with special needs gets a sweet makeover thanks to Joe Maddon and Cal Ripken

Miracle League baseball field receives new turf
Posted at 3:37 AM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 06:34:02-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- The Miracle League of Pinellas County waited nearly two years to hear these words: Play ball!

Thanks to funding from former Tampa Bay Rays manger Joe Maddon and Cal Ripken's family, the baseball field behind Tyrone Square Mall received a much-needed makeover.

The field for kids with special needs became so dangerous and tattered, officials deemed it unsafe for play and eventually torn it up.

Sadly, the league did not have enough money to replace the field right away. Seasons were lost much to Zack’s dismay.

That is when Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation got involved. The new field is gorgeous. The turf safe and soft. The basepaths are wheelchair-accessible.

“It’s kinda awesome! We get a brand-new field!” says Zack Morris, one of the kids with special needs who loves baseball.

There will be a grand re-opening of the diamond on Saturday.

“It’s gonna be awesome just to see the kids’ faces when they show up, when they see the field for the first time,” says Rusty Morris, Zack’s father. “The field is state of the art and so professional.”

For more information on the Miracle League, click here: