Players are accompanied by helper “buddies” during the West Michigan Miracle League at Nate Hurwitz Field Saturday in Rockford. (Cory Olsen | MLive.com)
ROCKFORD, MI — With a gleam in his eye and a ball in his hand, Tony Comden stepped out in front of a crowd of five hundred people and prepared to pitch to his son, Jed.
To the enjoyment of the crowd, Jed smacked a short line drive and dashed to first base — what a way to begin his first game as part of the new West Michigan Miracle League.
Four teams of children with mental and physical disabilities played in two games Saturday to open up the new facility in Rockford dubbed the Nate Hurwitz Field, which was created with larger team boxes, entry ways and a smooth, rubbery playing surface to accommodate wheelchairs.
Hurwitz, who was a junior at Forest Hills Eastern High School, had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and had to use a wheelchair for much of his childhood. He died unexpectedly in September 2012, which sparked an outpouring of support to see the Miracle Field built.