Greenwood Miracle League was born in the hearts and minds of the administration of Burton Center during the fall of 2006 after several staff and consumers visited the Mauldin Miracle League. It was soon realized that Greenwood and surrounding communities needed to establish a league here.
Plans began to take shape during Spring of 2007 and a Board of Directors was formed. We were awarded a grant from Asphalt Rubber Technology Service (ARTS) to construct a special rubberized-surface baseball field onsite at the Burton Center. Several meetings were held, local media became involved, and support was garnered from local businesses and industry.
Soon the word was sent out to area special-needs classes, and our first players were signed up. We grew into four teams, Yankees, Red Sox, Braves and Dodgers, and Opening Day 2008 consisted of two games played with two innings each. Guidelines are that players’ ages range from 4 to 19 years of age, and any special-needs child can play. “Buddies” were enlisted to assist with the players in their batting, running bases, and fielding. This allowed parents to relax and “cheer on” their child during games. Wheelchairs, walkers and crutches are able to maneuver on the field surface. Umpires, game announcers, music, and concessions help make a fun outing for players, parents and buddy groups, consisting of local businesses, little-league, high school and college teams and church and civic groups. We even have the “Burton Center train” running during game times to give rides to spectators and players.
The 2009 season saw a growth from 40 players to 90 players, with participants coming not only from Greenwood County, but also Laurens County as well. Games are played on Saturdays in the spring and fall, and all are invited to come out and share in these special times. Greenwood Miracle League’s motto is “every child deserves the chance to play baseball.”