Athletes from around the Commonwealth gathered for the season opener on April 13
Saturday, April 13, marked the start of the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League’s thirteenth season. Each year, athletes from around the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Cincinnati, and southern Indiana converge on Shillito Park in Lexington to participate in this popular nationwide program.
In 2006, the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League (TBML) was founded with the generous support of community volunteers and champion stakeholders such as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), the Rotary Club of Lexington, and BB&T. The TBML removes barriers that keep children with cognitive and physical disabilities off the field, enabling them and their families to enjoy the experiences that result from playing baseball, America’s favorite pastime. Since the primary challenges arise from the natural grass fields used in conventional leagues, TBML teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assistive devices while helping to prevent injuries.
In 2018, with its field beginning to show the wear of more than a decade of use, the TBML board knew it was time for a replacement. With that, TMMK didn’t hesitate in donating $125,000 to replace the worn out playing surface with a brand new one. LFUCG contributed an additional $25,000 and the Lexington Parks & Recreation Department provided expert project management from start-to-finish.
“It’s been such a pleasure watching so many amazing athletes along with their families experience the magic of the Miracle League over the years,” said Jim Jordan, TBML’s Board Chair. “Seeing the players interact with their coaches and our volunteers is something truly special,” he added.
The day-to-day operations are managed by the YMCA of Central Kentucky in partnership with the Board of Directors of the TBML who welcome athletes with special needs to participate, regardless of their condition. The League serves hundreds of athletes, providing them not only with an outlet for their athletic endeavors, but opportunities for teamwork, sportsmanship and friendship as well. At the TBML, everyone has an opportunity to play. For more information, please visit www.bgml.org.
Games will be played at 10 am, 11 am, and 12 noon. The season will conclude on Saturday, June 1.