LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Every child deserves the chance to play baseball. That's the motto of the Miracle League of East Texas, and today that's a motto that delivered.
Finally a field designed for special needs children is complete: the Gene Allen Miracle League Field in Longview's Teague Park.
Owner of RLM General Contractors Casey Beddingfield, who built the field, and Occupational Therapist Suzanne Sanders and a lot of other people are thrilled the field is complete. It couldn't be dirt and grass.
"It's a milled rubber and it's been used with a binder. It creates a soft surface that's conducive to people with special needs and their devices they use to make them mobile," Beddingfield said.
And because of that:
"Those kids that have been watching their brothers and sister play sports. Instead of sitting on the sidelines this is their opportunity to come out and play ball," Beddingfield explained.
"I think it's going to mean a lot to the children who have been sitting on the sidelines, that they can actually be a part of the team," Sanders said.
Raven and Lee Lyons have several children, and their seven year old will really appreciate the field.
"He was born with hydrocephalus. He's unable to walk as of right now but he's just recently moved up to a self-propelled wheelchair, "Lyons revealed.
The Miracle League of East Texas teams each player with able-bodied peer, which can become an experience that lasts a lifetime for them.
"Our son is very involved with whatever it is we put him into, and we push him as much as we can to do things. I know he's ready for something new. It's fun to get into something new and be able to have those open doors for us," Lyons added.
The Miracle League likes to think they hit a home run with this one. Even the crowd loves it.
The field was dreamed up back in 2012 and took 5 years and over a half a million dollars to build. The money was raised through donations, volunteer work and an annual Mud Run.