PHILADELPHIA - Members of the Penn baseball team spent last weekend in Allentown, Pa., taking some time away from campus to work with the Miracle League of Northampton County. Founded in 1997, the program has more than 250 organizations across the country and has spread into Canada, Puerto Rico, and even Australia. With the motto "Every Child Deserves a Chance to Play Baseball," the group has served more than 200,000 children and young adults with disabilities.
Penn sophomore Ronnie Glenn, who volunteered with the Miracle League when he was in high school, approached head coach John Cole this summer with the idea to involve the Quakers in helping out the special needs individuals in this organization. Given the go-ahead to pursue the cause, Glenn was integral in finding the Northampton County program and making his goal a reality. Even though Penn was coming off a tough practice and a Saturday scrimmage, once the group arrived in Allentown, the rest of the day took care of itself.
"There were two teams and everyone on each team had a buddy," explained Glenn. "We would bat with them, run down the line with them, play catch with them in the field and talk with them. They were just normal kids having a fun time and it was a wonderful experience."
"Seeing our players teaching and communicating with these kids who were so excited to be around college baseball players is something I will never forget," said Cole. "I think this is something that our team will look forward to attending every year."
The friendships that the Penn players formed with their buddies aren't likely to end anytime soon. "My buddy Jesse and I are now friends on Facebook," said Glenn. "We posted some pictures from that day and the people in the administration up there were so happy to have us, they hope we can do it again next year. Hopefully now that we've been up there, they can make their way down and watch us play this season."