Kendall: Man, I love this segment, this is talking about an American tradition, the game of baseball. The Miracle League of Las Vegas, make sure no one misses out on the opportunity to play baseball, regardless of any physical challenges. Joining me today from the organization is Roxanne and Robin Loyed, as well as Jim Silvestri and his son, Luke, who has an awesome nickname that we’re going to talk about in a second. Roxanne, you are the executive director for Miracle League. I’ve been out there, I’ve been out there, I went out there a couple weeks ago with my son. And it is just such a great feeling what you guys do for the players.
Roxanne: Thank you, we think our program is one of the best programs for individuals with special needs in the valley. We have such a great time. Every game day is just a joyous occasion and all the players, we have over 200, 220 players this season, this is our seventh year and we started with 60 players, so we are just grateful for all the support in the community and the families and players are just awesome.
Kendall: I want to show some people some video, and I think we have some back here if you guys could roll this.
Kendall: It’s what goes on, because everyone, just some pictures here. It’s so great because all the players are matched up with a buddy and everybody gets a hit and there’s cheering and Robin, you do the announcing, which is so much fun because you make it sound like you’re at a big league baseball game.
Robin: Well, Kendall, I really try to make it feel like a big league game, you know, it’s all about the kids. And so some things we do to make it special for them, we give them, they all have nicknames, we use their nicknames on the air. They all get a walk-up song. And we have some amazing walk-up songs. We have everything from the James Bond theme, we have a kid called “The Thinker” that uses the Dateline NBC theme song. All the way up to modern songs. I think Luke’s is “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake.
Kendall: Oh nice, and Luke your nickname is “Big Time”.
Kendall: Are you a good baseball player?
Kendall: How good?
Luke: I’m [inaudible 00:02:03] baseball team and the players.
Robin: How many hits do you get?
Luke: Two hits
Kendall: Two hits? Yes, nice. And he scored two runs on top of that.
Luke: [inaudible 00:02:17]
Kendall: Nice, Jim, what does this mean to your son? I mean, it’s so fun to be out there and see the smiles on the kid’s faces.
Jim: You know, Miracle League brings an opportunity to families that have challenges, and some have a lot, we know some parents that have greater challenges than we have. And we get an hour a week of respite. We get an hour of a week where our kid gets to be like every other kid, go up, pound their bat on the home plate, maybe point out to the outfield fence, hit a home run sometimes, high-five everybody, they get to be kids every Saturday.
Kendall: It is beautiful, it is just absolute joy when you’re out there. That’s the best way to describe it. You have this weekend a home run derby coming up, right?
Roxanne: We do.
Kendall: Tell us about that.
Robin: Oh we are psyched about it. It’s one of our big fundraisers on the year. And as you all know we have celebrities that are batting in the celeb division. Kendall is there.
Kendall: I’ll be knocking them close to the fence.
Robin: We have Dave Hall from Fox 5 news, we’ve got Aaron Rowand and Curt Ford are two former major leaguers, Cosmo I think from the 51’s is going to be there.
Kendall: Oh fun.
Robin: Manny Abita, he pitches batting practice for the 51s. So, a bunch of celebs, we’ve got 7 divisions. 3 Miracle League divisions and then a 13 and under, a 14 through 18 and open men’s and women’s. So anybody can participate, it’s a ton of fun.
Kendall: And it’s to raise money, every home run you hit brings money to Miracle League, right?
Robin: There’s a dunk tank out there, I think Roxanne is actually going to be on the dunk tank.
Kendall: Yes, you’re going in.
Roxanne: Oh, I’m sure.
Robin: There’s going to be food trucks and it’s just a great family friendly kind of event.
Kendall: Well, I can’t wait to participate, can’t wait to be out there again. Luke, great job buddy, it’s always great to have a baseball star with us.
Luke: I just hit it and I just hit it in for my team and then it’s in the bottom and last game I got two hits and hit the bat.
Kendall: Two hits and you knocked that ball all over the place. All right, if you are interested in getting involved, the home run contest is this Saturday and you can go to miracleleaguelasvegas.com to find out more about the contest that goes from 9:00 until 3:00 at the Englestead Family Park and Ball Field, which is absolutely beautiful. Mercedes, over to you.