ARLINGTON -- Miracle League DFW baseball players will open their fall season on a brand new field in Arlington this Saturday.
After a $400,000 summer renovation by the City of Arlington Parks Department, the Doug Inman Miracle League Field is ready for play.
Spectators and dugouts are now protected from the sun by new metal roofing. The old field surface had been in use for 10 years and had begun to deteriorate, but now a Pebbleflex surface has been installed, along with a new concrete base.
The surface is soft enough to cushion falls, and smooth enough for wheels.
"Kids who are wheelchair or walker-bound, if you are in a bed, you can actually run the bases and make a home run!" said Grace Whetstone, with Miracle League DFW.
Miracle League is a free program for special needs kids and their families. Kids are paired with buddies, who help them on the field. They wear uniforms, and every kid gets to hit the ball and run the bases.
"They're able to do things they can't normally do," said Vince Leone, who has coached for the league for the last 8 years. "Out here, everybody's a winner."
Billy Carbajal, 11, tested out the new field at practice Wednesday evening.
"I like to run every time," said Billy, who's confined to a wheelchair due to his Cerebral Palsy.
His brother, John, is his buddy and helps push his chair around the field.
"He's playing a special game for special people," said John, 11.
The League kicks off its fall season Saturday at Randol Mill Park in Arlington. At noon, there will be a special ceremony to commemorate the renovation.
"I think everyone's just excited about opening day," Whetstone said.
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