MARYLAND

Washington Nationals Miracle Field to open in Montgomery County

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(AP, ABC7) - A baseball field specially designed with the needs of handicapped children in mind is set to open in Montgomery County.

Several handicapped children gathered at a dedication ceremony for the Washington Nationals Miracle Field. (Photo: Autria Godfrey)

Unveiling the miracle field in Germantown Monday, the Washington Nationals showed they weren't going to let a walker or wheelchair get in the way of their fun.

“It was a very, very moving and emotional moment for me to see him and other kids just with a smile on their face to see them do something that every normal kid wants to do, play baseball,” said Vickie Singh, the mother of a handicapped child.

Her 9-year-old son Saij was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair. He enjoyed getting to roll around the bases.

“It was cool, it was better for my wheels because my wheels can't go on a regular field,” Saij said.

One of the most important parts of the field, the turf, is 5/8 of an inch thick and soft, keeping wheelchairs and walkers from tripping like they would on a normal baseball diamond.

Without the usual dirt on the diamond, children susceptible to the elements can also get a day of play.

"He loves it, he loves hitting the bat and being able to run and its so nice that this field is so smooth and there’s no tripping hazard or dust because he has really bad lung disease, so this is like a really big treat for us,” said Megan Deband, whose son also is handicapped.

It's a treat those who stepped up to the plate say will serve Washington, D.C., youth for years to come.

“In our opinion anybody that wants to play baseball should have the opportunity to,” said Mark Lerner of the Lerner Family Foundation.

The field is located in South Germantown Recreational Park.

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