SARASOTA-BRADENTON (September 16, 2014) As the Orioles race toward a postseason berth, the ball club paused to benefit the Miracle League of Manasota with a $10,000 donation in honor of the Hall of Fame career of retiring Major League player Derek Jeter on Sunday, September 14 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles Manager Buck Showalter and outfielder Nick Markakis presented the gift in Jeter's name prior to the final game the Yankees' No. 2 played in Baltimore.
"We know that Derek's commitment to spreading the game of baseball to children across all walks of life has had a tremendous impact throughout several communities, and his home is right up the road in Tampa," said David Rovine, vice president of Orioles-Sarasota. "It is a fitting tribute to Derek's ongoing legacy for the Orioles to make this donation in his name to the Miracle League of Manasota, a league that gives children and adults with special needs a chance to play the great game of baseball."
"Our partnership with the Orioles extends back to the development of our specially designed ball field at Longwood Run Park near the Sarasota-Manatee county line," said Bob Mitchell, Miracle League of Manasota president. "We are thrilled by the Orioles' generous gift, and so honored to be involved in this tribute to one of the great players and role models in baseball."
The Miracle League of Manasota is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing an opportunity for everyone to play baseball, regardless of their ability to play. For the 14,000 school-aged children and countless adults with special needs in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the Miracle League of Manasota raised funds to build a synthetically-surfaced baseball field at a location that serves participants from both counties.
The field, which opened in March 2012, was funded from public and private sources, including $75,000 each from the Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since that time, more than 450 players have taken the field to enjoy baseball as part of a team. The league is currently hosting its fall season, which runs through November 15. Information: www.MiracleLeagueManasota.org.
As a nonprofit organization, the Miracle League of Manasota relies on community support to fulfill its mission. The charity is seeking volunteer coaches and buddies for the fall season. In addition, sponsorships are available for both ongoing support and Phase II of field construction, which includes handicapped-accessible restrooms and concession area.