WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Every year when the Beast of The East comes to town, many people from all over the country flock to ball fields across the Ohio Valley to watch America’s favorite pastime.
What you may not know is in the back of the complex sits a million dollar field waiting to be filled with million dollar smiles.
That’s exactly why the Miracle League teamed up with the Beast of the East in Wheeling eight years ago.
“We had to be very careful on the other field because the bases were lifted up. You had dirt. You had rocks, so you had to be extra careful,” explained Miracle League President Lorraine McCardle. “With our field, everything is painted on this cushion synthetic surface.”
There were more than 75 participants in Thursday’s Miracle League game, but there are more than 120 kids in the organization.
Bo McConnaughy is the Co-Found of the Beast and said he teamed up because they’re normal people they should be able to play baseball too.
“It’s just an amazing thing to see the smiles on these faces when they hit the ball,” McConnaughy continued. “Especially when we give them trophies at the end. It’s really awesome.”
The game hosts ages from all across the board, in fact the oldest player was an astonishing 93 years old.
McCardle said it’s an honor to be able to watch these kids, and young adults play ball.
“It means everything to me,” she added. “It started off that I was doing this for my son Austin, but they’re all my kids. To give these kids a chance to have fun, to have the joy on their faces, you very rarely see faces that cry. They’re all smiling. They love it.”
The Miracle Leagues baseball season lasted six weeks, but in their off time from baseball, you can catch them playing a game of soccer, basketball, and even at dances.