Baseball bat, glove and ball on a bench in the dugout

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Posted on February 29, 2012 Players Try the Miracle Field

Only a few months passed when we invited our own players along with Major Leaguers to come see our dream become a reality. Luckily the Sarasota Herald Tribune was there to capture the magic!

Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick helps Seth Morano perfect his swing during a clinic that took place Saturday, after a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new Miracle Field at Longwood Park.

The Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates rivalry did not keep players from coming together to fulfill disabled children’s dreams of playing baseball.

Both teams joined with Sarasota County to celebrate the new Miracle League of Manasota during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and clinic Saturday at the new handicapped-accessible Miracle Field at Longwood Park.

“The Miracles could not ask for anything more,” said Dan Tellor, Miracles director of league operations, crediting the teams for their support and the county for the field resources.

“Both Bradenton and Sarasota should be proud of their teams,” he said of the Orioles and Pirates, which hold spring training in Sarasota and Bradenton, respectively.

Tellor stood on the new synthetic rubber field amongst a crowd that included Orioles and Pirates players and new Miracles players.

The smooth field will make it easier for those who use wheelchairs or have leg braces, he said. It was built to be used by the 14,000 people listed as having special needs in Manatee and Sarasota counties, Tellor said.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the major league teams each presented a donation of $75,000 to the Miracle League.

Dylan McClintock, 5, was ready with his glove on his hand and his bats in a bag suspended from the back of his wheelchair.

The cheerful redhead often attends baseball games with his parents, Disa and David.

Ever since he first watched a game, Dylan has been eager to play baseball, his mother said. He soon had the chance to play catch with Orioles pitcher Jim Johnson and Pirates third-baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Lucas Hack was the first one to race around the field, said his mother Francoise, as he practiced his batting.

“He’s been waiting for this for months,” she said. “We’re looking to be here every Saturday.”

Former Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick gave tips to Seth Morano about swinging the bat.

Seth smiled wide and laughed as the duo alternated between strikes and hits. Bordick later said the experience gave him a “great feeling” and that he was proud to be part of granting the children the opportunity to play on the field.