Miracle League of Plymouth
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BILKIE FAMILY FIELD
How the Bilkie Family Field was started....
Bob and Shari Bilkie and family
Groundbreaking: April 29, 2011
Opening Date: August 20, 2011
Concept behind the Miracle League Field..
The Bilkie Family fields is a custom-designed venue incorporates a cushioned synthetic turf that accommodates wheelchairs and other walking assistance devices, while helping prevent injuries. In other words, it provides a level-playing field where individuals with disabilities can hit, run, and catch- just like the best of them.
During each Miracle League game, every player is given an opportunity to hit the ball and score a run. Miracle League team members are assigned “buddies” who assist them in hitting the ball and “running” the bases. Buddies can be fellow schoolmates, parents, college students, business leaders or anyone who wishes to volunteer their time to give a child the gift of baseball
The launch - baseball has brought me joy in all facets and all stages of my life. I came of age with the Detroit Tigers winning the World Series in 1968 - Kaline, Horton, McClain and Lolich were my heroes. As a youngster and into my mid 40's, I played hardball. I "retired" when my kids started having kids. Now, I go to a lot of games - major league, minor league, little league, Miracle League. The game always brings me home.
As a kid growing up, my family struggled to make ends meet and it was not always a certainty that there would be the money for me to sign up and play. In the years I was not able to play, it obviously cast a bit of a pall over my childhood. When I learned through a conversation with Deb Madonna several years ago that the special needs children in our community were also not able to play - not necessarily because of finances but because there was not an appropriate facility for them - I knew the feelings they were experiencing. Hence, I had to do something about it for them. The result was the Miracle League of Plymouth. - Bob Bilkie