Macon Miracle League Gives Kids a Shot at the Plate

8:20 AM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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It started with a simple question from a five-year-old: "When can I play baseball like my friends?" Alex Morton asked his parents that 12 years ago.

"I've always wanted to find my own way to play, and my mom and dad found it about 10 years ago," said Alex Morton. "It's been a blast."

The answer: Miracle League Baseball.

In 2003, there was not a Miracle League in Macon, so the Mortons traveled over an hour and a half so Alex could play his favorite sport.

"Every night during the spring, summer I'm watching the Braves. Once I get out here on Saturdays I have a great time," said Alex.

Alex's father, Dan Morton, helped start a league in Macon in 2005. Now, over 70 children grab a bat on game day.

"Most of the kids are able-bodied. We have lots of kids that are down syndrome, autistic," said Dan Morton.

When the players take the field, they are not alone. Each week, a different team from the area comes out to be "buddies."

"I know the kids really enjoy it and sometimes I think the players enjoy it more than the kids do," said Tattnall senior Tyler Ward. "It really is something to look forward to every year."

There are six teams this season. Alex is playing for the Marlins, but when it comes to being a baseball fan, he's all Braves. Specifically, one player.

"When he was two years old, he started swinging a bat just in the house and he tried to simulate Chipper Jones's swing," said Dan Morton.

"He's always been my favorite player," explained Alex. "It was kind of sad to see him retire last year the way the season ended, but he's always been a role model to me for baseball."

The game means a lot to Alex and on game days he is always ready at the plate.

"No matter if I don't hit good or whatever, I always have a smile on my face because I know that this is mine."

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