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), and the Rotary Club of Lexington. The TBML removes barriers that keep children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of 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.
Twelve years later, the field was 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 Parks & Recreation Department provided expert project management from start to finish. “The Miracle League is very near and dear to our hearts,” said President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. Susan Elkington. “We were honored to partner with LFUCG and the Y to ensure players have a safe and beautiful venue to enjoy the great sport of baseball for years to come.”
Work on the new field was completed in late August. A special rededication ceremony will be held before the fall league’s opening game at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Shillito Park, located at 300 W. Reynolds Road in Lexington.
“It’s been a joy to see so many amazing athletes along with their families experience the magic of the Miracle League over the years,” said Jim Jordan, TBML board chair. “Each player gets to enjoy his or her own ‘field of dreams’ thanks to this opportunity.”
The day-to-day operations of the League 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 camaraderie, sportsmanship and friendship. At the TBML, everyone has an opportunity to play.
For more information about TBML, visit www.bgml.org or contact [email protected].