Braves give back at Miracle League skills clinic

Braves give back at Miracle League skills clinic

ATLANTA -- An unseasonably cool and rainy August afternoon did not dampen the spirits of the 57 children from local Miracle League teams who participated in a skills clinic put on by the Braves and the Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids on Saturday at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville, Ga.

Pitchers Alex Wood and Anthony Varvaro, infielder Paul Janish and strength and conditioning coach Phil Falco were on hand to offer instruction and encouragement as the players moved from station to station honing their hitting, fielding and throwing skills.

"It's always fun to give back," Varvaro said. "It's a small group, the weather really wasn't that great, but we got a chance to get out there for about an hour and a half or so and just work with the kids, interact."

The Miracle League is a baseball league for youth players who are physically and mentally challenged and provides an opportunity to hit, run and catch on a baseball field. Each Miracle League player received a Braves jersey, a Braves cap and two tickets to Saturday night's game against the Nationals.

"The position that me and all these guys are in, it's nice to know you can make someone's day as easy as just showing up and hanging out a little bit," Wood said. "It's really good to give back, especially in the community of Atlanta. With all the Braves fans around here and how passionate they are about us, it's good to show that we're passionate about them, too."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Eric Single is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.