Defying the Odds: Helena Miracle League finishes successful season

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

HELENA – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, the Helena Miracle League was just preparing for what would have been its second full spring season. Unfortunately, a decision had to be made to cancel the season after the first game to ensure the safety of all the players.

Luckily, the league was able to move forward with a season later in the fall, but the players in the league had to miss out on the momentum they had developed during their inaugural season, which set back a number of things like fundraising, experience and general support from the public.

Now with the restrictions of the pandemic fading, the league just completed a full spring season. League Founder Mary Chambliss said that she was so grateful for the opportunity that she and her players had this year.

“We started off very optimistic last year, but then everything got shut down. We had to go back and rebuild what we started building in the first year, but it all worked out because we had a lot of support,” Chambliss said. “The public was really supportive of everything we were trying to do, and I was amazed at how many people were turning out for our games.”

The Helena Miracle League kicked off their first game of the year on April 17, and have been holding games every Saturday since then at Joe Tucker Park.

“We have been so blessed to be able to have games for these kids every week,” Chambliss said. “I could tell that they were really enjoying themselves at the games. Our volunteers went out of their way to make sure that everyone had a fun time.”

The Helena Miracle League offers the opportunity for children with disabilities to get out and play baseball in an adaptive setting. Chambliss said she created the league because she identified this need of people in the community and wanted to address it.

The league wrapped up their spring season at a finale game on Saturday, May 22, which featured food trucks and support from local organizations and the public to look back on an incredible season.

The players were clearly very excited to be out playing baseball on a day with perfect weather. They laughed and had huge smiles on their faces as they ran around the bases throughout the game. The impact on them was clear to anyone at the game.

“Thank you to all of our players, families, volunteers, sponsors and supporters throughout the year,” Chambliss said. “We were able to be successful because of the hard work from all of the groups.”

Chambliss said that she is looking to provide other activities throughout the summer for players on the miracle league, and that they will return in the fall for another round of games.

They are always looking for volunteers and sponsors for their activities. Anyone interested in supporting the Helena Miracle League in some way can reach out to Chambliss through helenabaseballmiracles@gmail.com.