UNION — The players who took part in Tuesday’s Miracle League of Union County games at the Timken Sport Complex had the assistance of approximately two dozen “buddies” from the Union Medical Center.
Tuesday was the “Union Medical Center’s Buddy Night” which was sponsored by the UMC which provided the buddies who helped the Miracle League players take part in the two games played that evening. Many of those in the stands cheering the teams on were also from the Union Medical Center.
“It was Union Medical Center’s Buddy Night and the employees and staff of the hospital came out and served as buddies for both the six and seven o’clock games,” UMC Volunteers Coordinator Greta Bailey said. “We had about 24 employees paired with each and the stands were full of our employees, staff and volunteers.”
Bailey, who is also an MLUC board member and the parent of a Miracle League player, said she was very happy about the support for the Miracle League shown by medical center personnel.
“It’s wonderful to see an organization like our own hospital come out in such large numbers and show such overwhelming support and excitement,” Bailey said.
Bailey said that Tuesday was third time the UMC has sponsored a Buddy Night for the Miracle League.
Mircale League Executive Director Amy Austin thanked the UMC, pointing out what their being buddies means, not only to the players, but to their parents.
“Our players can’t play the game without buddies and to have groups like Union Medical Centers and others come out and assist our players play the game is wonderful,” Austin said. “It’s very good for the parents of our players sit and watch and enjoy the game, because this is something that parents of children with special needs typically don’t have the opportunity to do. We are always taking care of our children 24/7 and just that one hour having these special buddies come out is a huge blessing to the parents and caregivers.”
The Miracle League of Union County is a baseball league that gives children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. For them to play baseball, however, each player must have buddy who stays with them throughout the game, both when they are at bat and run the bases and when they are in the outfield. The role of the buddy is to make sure the player stays safe and has fun.
Persons attending Tuesday’s game would have passed a Union Medical Center banner attached to a fence. Bailey said the banner was placed there by the UMC to mark where the Miracle League’s all-inclusive playground will be built. She pointed that in 2015 the UMC Volunteers donated $27,000 toward the construction of the playground.
The all-inclusive playground the Miracle League plans to build will be designed to make play and recreation possible for everyone ranging from children with multiple sclerosis or autism to adults with physical disabilities either due to age or disease or, in the case of veterans, wounds.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.