Miracle League of Mid-Michigan | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Baseball

– [Man] Fall in a little bit. Jacob. Do you wanna steal here? Should we steal? Wanna steal? Alright, next pitch. – He’s a friendly,
outgoing, just energetic, just full of life, lights
up a room when he walks in, he just, he’s just, he’s really good kid. When he was born, he was
born with spina bifida and so it affected the
nerves from his waist down. They said he would never
walk, they said he would never you know, do a lot of
things that he’s doing now so he’s just been a
blessing the whole time, it’s just amazing. – It’s just something that was shocking, just says okay well we’ll
deal with it, you know? We’ll just love him and care for him, no other choice but to do that, you know? That’s what God has given
us and he gave us this baby and we’re gonna take care of it no matter what the situation is. – This is from Michigan State. Michigan State baseball. – Oh Vickie, she was
his physical therapist when he was at Sparrow
Outpatient physical therapy. She was his first physical therapist when he was just an infant and
then later on we found out that she did the
Miracle League and it had been years since we’d
seen her ’cause we ended up not going to therapy
anymore ’cause he got so well they had to
discontinue his therapy. Several years later when we
found out about the Miracle League, here she is and all
like full circle came around. – The Miracle League of
Mid-Michigan provides opportunity for youth
with disabilities to play baseball on an accessible ball field and it’s all disabilities. We have probably 60 percent
of our athletes are autistic, we have visually impaired,
cerebral palsy, spina bifida, you name it, there’s every
disability just about as represented in our group. We have 109 athletes, 10 teams. When we were fundraising for the field, before the Miracle League even existed, Jake Boss had been hired by
MSU to be the head baseball coach and so he partnered with us and came to fundraising events. – Working hard at getting
better but we want guys that are gonna represent
Michigan State University, both on and off the field
in a positive manner. We were fortunate to get
involved at the ground level, really on the fundraising
side of it ever since they opened their gates. – Jake and I kind of started
this probably about five falls ago that we would do a fall game. This year we had 32 sign up
so we’re playing one game of 16 kids each and each
team and it’s gonna be crazy and the field’s gonna be full
of people but it’ll be fun. (light music) – The guys that have been
here for three and four years have their own buddy,
to say that the same kid that they’ve been hanging
out with for four years so they build relationships
with these kids and vice versa. – Dan! – Pants and everything, what’s up, dude? What’s up, brother? – What’s up! – Got your, got your
hat on and everything? – Yeah. – You went with the Yankees again? – Yeah. – It was like right
away they had this bond. I mean, it was like right away
they found each other out. He’s been his buddy every year so. Jacob, he just can’t wait
to see him every year. He just you know, is so
ecstatic when you say Dan’s name and he’s Dan, Dan, he’s
so excited and he just, he just idolizes him so much. – We just click. His attitude is so great. He just has that like
persona and charisma that’s fun to be around and he’s
always excited to be there. I was drawn to it and it was like his whole world was just us. It felt pretty cool. – We have like a secret
handshake and he like plays together like pass the ball
back and forth together and yeah, it’s fun. Let’s play ball! – Alright one, two,
three, let’s go All Stars! – [Announcer] First better
for the All Stars tonight, Jacob Boerma. (cheering) (light music) – I won. (light music) (cheering) – [Announcer] That’s gonna
bring Jacob home to score. – Seeing something the doctors
say that he would never do is just unbelievable and
just like the grace of God, healing him and it’s just wonderful thing seeing him experience. (cheering) – Just watching the kids
out there, they’re just so amazing you know, watching
with everyone with their own disability
and their own problems and watching them come
alive on the field is just, it’s just you can’t
even say enough in just how much joy it brings to them,
just feeling in your heart. The families that are
there are just great, they cheer them on and
it’s all so special for the families, you know
especially because they see their child out there
where they thought that they could never do something like that. – [Announcer] And it’s a
home run to all players round all the bases. – And once that game gets
going, it’s really honestly one of the highlights of the
year for me is to sit back and watch our guys
interact with these kids. I’m just so proud of the way
that they handle themselves, I’m so proud of the way they
represent our baseball program and our athletic department
and our university but more than that, I’m
proud of the interactions and the relationships that
they’re making with these kids and the impact that they’re
having on these kid’s lives. – One of the parents of one
of the kids who used to play here, she told me that
this is her happy place and it’s drizzling and it’s
overcast and there’s no sunshine at all but when these
guys come out on the field, all you’re gonna see are smiles. And that’s what makes it worth it for me. Sorry. – The small amount of time
that they’ve lived, you know, the obstacles they’ve overcome, the just the challenges
they’ve faced and everything and this is just so
special to them because of the Michigan State
Spartans and they’re just such a big name and
like this is the biggest present they could get. – This is a big deal for these kids that big role models and you know, it’s just kind of unbelievable to
see you know, how these kids are so happy to
have these guys with them and work with them and
just so many smiling faces of the kids, you know? (cheering) – That was pretty cool. – Really special when I hear
that Michigan State game, I’m gonna be like eek! It’s so exciting! So I try to play my very best. – Oh look at the hose, look at the hose! Where was that all day? You’ve been sandbagging me. – You know I said it after the first one and I say it every year,
I’m not sure who gets more out of that day, if
it’s those kids playing with our guys or if
it’s our guys you know, getting the chance to
interact with those kids because it’s a pretty special day. – I have a cousin that
has autism and I’m seeing other guys besides myself,
other guys on the team willing to help out and do things. It means a lot but it’s
nice to see just my fellow brothers you know, I see
everyday playing baseball doing something that
would actually you know, contribute to something that’s
close to my family even. It was him, no it was Sapinko. I don’t know why he’s tapping you. – It’s just great to watch em together. He’s such a great role model for my son. He really looks up to him and
just seeing them together, it makes my heart just
thrill for joy you know, I just, I’m so excited to
see all the Spartans there but Dan, he’s his favorite
you know, and he’s always been with him and just
it’s been a great journey with Dan and keeping
him you know, with us, it’s just been great. – I think it’s important for us to remember why we’re here. A lot of things happen off
the field that are bigger than baseball and I think
it’s definitely something good that our team can reflect
on and realize that at the end of the day, wins
and losses are wins and losses, just matters who we can impact
and who we can reach out to. That’s our main goal
here is be better people than we are baseball players, I guess. Look, my trophy. He’s better than the Big Ten Championship. (light music)

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