Tuesday, March 29, 2011
When its first team organized three years ago, Columbia River Miracle League had seven players.
As the baseball program for disabled players prepares to start its fourth season on April 16, it has more than 100 players spread across eight teams.
What it doesn’t have are enough volunteers to help coach and guide the players, who this spring range in age from 5 to 26. For the first time in its brief history, Columbia River Miracle League is broken into two age divisions and secured use of a second field.
The younger players, between the ages of 5 and 12, will play at the CRML’s home field at the Harmony Sports Complex. Players 13 and older will use the Evergreen High School softball field at Burton Elementary.
Teams will practice once a week and play one game each Saturday morning. Games last one hour.
The league has had support from area high school and youth teams, but CRML president Ralph Heiser said his goal is to expand participation beyond the baseball community. He is interested in working with companies and organizations who have an interest in providing volunteers to coach teams or to assist players.
Heiser said the league had about 60 players on six teams last year, and would have more than eight teams this season if it had enough coaches. He said the rapid growth is the result of word of mouth. Families sharing their Miracle League experience with friends and schoolmates.
Anyone interested in volunteering to coach, or to be a buddy to assist a player may call Heiser at 360-260-9293.