Around the time Ryan was born, work began on the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League ball fields about a mile away from our house. In the long and tiresome months after Ryan’s diagnosis, the Miracle League became a glimmer of hope for us.
We would drive by almost daily to check on the progress of the fields and dream about Ryan’s future. Sometimes we took the girls out of the car and let Charlie explore the area while carrying Ryan in her pumpkin seat. I remember one particular visit when we met the builders and talked with Kim and Bonnie Nuxhall. We were so thankful for their dedication to the project and as I introduced them to Ryan, I broke down in tears. Kim and I had a good, long cry together that day.
In the past 4 years, we attended the first opening day, the first Miracle Ball, watched the adult league games, played on the play set and soccer field, let Ryan practice walking with her walker, and Charlie even learned to ride her two-wheel bike in that parking lot, all the while waiting for Ryan to be old enough to play on a team. We had already made wonderful memories with our family on those fields.
And then the day finally came! Ryan became a Lugnut!
The league is so dedicated to catering to the needs of the players that they had player assessments with physical therapists a few weeks ago. They watched the players hit, run, catch, and throw in order to pair them with an appropriate buddy for the season. So many of the buddies are Fairfield high school students and it makes me so proud to see my other “kids” in this role.
Ryan will be playing at 9:30 on Saturday mornings this spring. The adult leagues will also start to play on Friday nights this summer. If you haven’t been to see the complex, you need to. Fully funded by donations, it really is a field of dreams. https://nuxhallmiracleleague.org/