What is the Miracle League?
There is something about playing the game that lights up a person’s eyes. But for children and adults facing serious physical and mental disabilities that opportunity can often be difficult to achieve. Baseball diamonds weren’t exactly designed with wheelchairs and crutches in mind.
Our Story: The Miracle League of Westfield
Baseball runs thick in both the Hoffman and Estep family blood lines.
In 2015, the Hoffmans third child was born, Londyn Mae. With time, Londyn didn't hit typical developmental milestones. At age 3, Londyn learned to walk and the Hoffmans learned she had a rare undiagnosed genetic condition. At age 5, Londyn hit another speed bump - she was diagnosed with a rare cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma. A few months later - another big bump in the road - this time diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, which took away her ability to walk, talk, hold a cup and even breathe on her own. She spent four weeks on a ventilator and slowly but surely, movements came back to her extremities. She then spent time inpatient rehab at Riley Children's Hospital. Today, Londyn is back learning to walk again. The Hoffmans have felt the many frustrations of life with assistive devices: wheelchairs, standers, gait trainers, walkers - it isn't always the easiest getting around places. Not to mention, Londyn has spent her whole life on the sidelines, cheering on brother in baseball or football.
Because of the Hoffmans passion for the game of baseball, when they heard of the Miracle League through one of Jenna's softball teammates, she thought how amazing it would be to someday bring the Miracle League to Westfield -- and have a place where her daughter and ALL CHILDREN of ALL ABILITIES could have the opportunity to play America's pastime, baseball!
Adam Hoffman met Chris back in 1995. Chris was Adam's hitting coach during his time at Butler. Fast forward to today, Chris and Sue Estep are nearing their 20th Anniversary as owners and operators of Roundtripper Sports Academy, a premier facility for baseball & softball training in Central Indiana. RoundTripper Sports Academy is proud to have worked with many of the area’s most promising young athletes since 1993.
The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. Since the main barriers for these adults arise from the natural grass fields used in conventional leagues, Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping to prevent injuries.
But it’s more than playing a game. The Miracle League is about making new friends, building self-esteem and being treated just like other athletes. To help the athletes, the Miracle League uses a “buddy” system – pairing each player with an able-bodied peer. The result is a bond that cannot be described. The Miracle League serves children and adults who suffer from any physical or mental disabilities, which causes them to be excluded, whether intentionally or not, from conventional Baseball leagues.
The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Georgia in April 2000. Word spread and by 2002, fields opened in South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Illinois, and California. There are over 300 Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico and Canada, while serving 200,000 plus children and adults.
Our players may not be able to run the bases or hit the ball as well as some of their peers, but they have an equal amount of love and determination to play baseball. Together, the Hoffmans and Esteps want to help ALL PLAYERS, no matter their ability, achieve that dream.