MILWAUKEE -- A baseball game this weekend at Milwaukee's Northwest YMCA will feature some true all-stars and a life-changing organization. It's called the Miracle League of Milwaukee.
There’s a line from a certain baseball movie that any fan will recognize.
“If you build it, people will come," said Anne Kearney, paraphrasing the Kevin Costner classic Field of Dreams. "And it really is the case.”
Of course the Northwest YMCA isn’t heaven, or Iowa. It's home to the Miracle League of Milwaukee.
“You’d think that they’d won a million dollars," said Kearney of players like her two sons, who both have a rare neurological condition. "I mean, their smiles and their eyes. It’s great.”
The Miracle League is a national organization that gives children with physical or cognitive disabilities the chance to play baseball. On Saturday, July 29th the Milwaukee chapter will host its annual All-Star Game.
“Every athlete gets a turn to hit in each inning," said Leila Wright, program director for the Miracle League of Milwaukee. "We only play two innings per game. There are no outs, and then the last hitter in each inning is our home run hitter. They hit a grand slam, and everybody runs the bases [and] makes it in.”
The league is in its sixth season, with a custom-designed, fully-accessible field courtesy of the Brewers Community Foundation and other partners.
For the players, it’s a chance to be a kid, and for the parents, it can be just as fulfilling.
“Maybe they grew up playing ball and they always thought they were going to have that son or daughter that would play, and then things changed when that child was born, and this provides them the opportunity to live out that lifelong dream," said Wright.
It’s something you just have to see for yourself.
The All-Star Game, which runs from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, with Brewers' players making an appearance, is open to the public.
“They need to come and see sort of the magic happen," said Kearney. "I mean, Miracle League really is kind of a miracle for a lot of us.”
It’s a 'Field of Dreams,' right here in Milwaukee.