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Disabled Children in Las Vegas Get a Field of Dreams
There's no grass on the field. Just rubber.
Games are only two innings. Everyone bats. Everyone scores. No one is ever called out. The score is always tied.
There is no crying in baseball. Not in this league anyway.
Disabled children in Las Vegas finally have a league of their own -- with a field to match.
KVBC, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, reports members of Las Vegas' First Christian Church offered the Miracle League of Las Vegas a 99-year lease at a dollar a year to use church land to build a field of dreams.
The recently completed ballpark was under construction for five years, and the league just started its first season.
"This is the most joyous day of the year," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman told KVBC on opening day.
The odds were against Daniel McCarty, 7, ever playing baseball. He suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). The new field means he can play without fear.
"It means fun and people get to play baseball and stuff," the boy tells KVBC. "And it's a fun day to play baseball."
Rip Rippetoe, executive director of the league, tells the station regular grass would never work for players who need a field that's wheelchair-accessible.
"Every athlete comes on the field with a buddy," Rippetoe tells KVBC. "The buddy's responsibility is to be a motivator, create relationships and to protect the player."
The league has 74 players signed up for this season. Everyone plays for free thanks to a gift from the Engelstad Family Foundation.
McCarty's mother, Nicole, tells KVBC her son knows his limitations, but that doesn't keep him from being a kid.
"There's times when he's just being a boy and he wants to rough house or throw, repeatedly knowing that at night he's going to get a muscle spasm, and he'll get a fracture," she tells the station. "But at this point we have to let him make those decisions and then we treat the pain after."
Related: Girl Pitcher Strikes Out the Boys, But How Far Can She Go in Baseball?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.