In early 2004, employees at Welcome All Park, proposed a program callesd “Buddy Baseball” The concept was born out of a lack of meaningful sports programs for special needs children in South Fulton County. They sought the help of the Park staff, guidance from the National Miracle League and the assitance of Dr Jimmie Calloway, Clinical Associate Professor of Kinesilogy and Health at Georgia State University, in forming a Miracle League of South Fulton, a 501c(3) non-profit organization. They received extensive training in how to run a safe and effective baseball progfram for Special Needs children. Starting with a core of 30 kids, today the number of players in our program has evolved to well over 60.
Our mission is to provide an opportunity for all Special Needs children and young adults to play baseball in a safe and structured environment, to inspire team play and sportsmanship and to provide a social environment for kids and parents to build lasting friendships. The disabilities of our kids range from Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome to Autism Spectrum Disorders, the vast majority of which have never played baseball or any other team sport. To accomplish our mission and goals, we enlist the help of volunteers, Angels in the Outfield Buddies, to assist the players in fielding the ball, batting and running the bases. We play two innings for each team and everyone gets to bat, and there are no outs. At the end of each game, a light group meal is served while the parents and players socialize. There is a Spring and Fall season that allows eight games to be played each year. The last game is followed by an awards banquet where each player receives a trophy or medal. Currently we play all our games in the Welcome All Park gymnasium in the City of South Fulton.
We are thankful for the organizations that have supported us throughout the years: Sloan Gourmet Catering, Morehouse College, Mayor William “Bill” Edwards and staff (City of South Fulton), City of South Fulton Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff Department, Delta Sigma Theta Society, Inc East Point/College Park Alumni chapter, TriCities High School JROTC, Banneker High School JROTC, Christ Luthern Church and Impact (UMC) Church.
“We Belieive Every Child Deserves a Chance to Play Baseball!”