I’ve never seen friendlier, happier games of baseball than those played on Justin’s Miracle Field in Kingsland Lions Park.
The baseball field, which opened Oct. 22, 2011, is designed to accommodate every kid, whether wheelchair- or walker-bound, visually impaired, anything that might normally interfere. The cushioned turf surface and ground-level dugouts make it possible for everyone to play.
Kingsland residents Jeff and Tina Norris founded the Kingsland chapter of the Miracle League and raised the funds to build the field after their son, who was wheelchair bound, passed away. Little Justin loved baseball and faithfully attended all his big brother’s games. He met the Atlanta Braves through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. But he couldn’t play on a team, himself, because there wasn’t a local field for special needs kids.
The Norrises expected it to take a long time to make the field a reality, but in just 18 months they had raised the $300,000 they needed and built the field. It was truly a labor of love from the whole community. Camden County and the cities of St. Marys and Kingsland donated land, workers, materials and equipment. Georgia Power saved the group about $30,000 by installing the lighting. Sea Bags, the St. Marys garment printing company, donated the uniforms. The group even received donations from Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, who played catch with Justin during his Make-a-Wish years earlier.
The result is a field that truly inspires kids who didn’t have much chance of playing baseball before. If you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out this unique field that’s changed so many lives already.
If you go:
Kingsland Lions Park is on South Grove Road in Kingsland. Take I-95 exit 3 and head west on Georgia 40. Take a left at the flashing yellow light onto South Grove Blvd. The park will be on your left.
In addition to Justin’s Miracle Field, the 12-acre park includes 3 pavilions, 4 baseball fields, 4 T-ball fields, 2 lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, a playground, and 4 restrooms.
To find out more about the Miracle League and Justin’s personal story on the Camden Miracle League website.