MCCC Baseball Players Are ‘Angels in the Outfield’ for Mercer County Miracle League


West Windsor, N.J. – Fred Carella, head coach for the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Vikings baseball team, knows from his own experiences as a player, a coach, and a dad that participating in sports at any level is important for physical and emotional well-being.

The Miracle League of Mercer County knows that lesson too. In 2004 The Rotary Club of Robbinsville/Hamilton built a 100% barrier-free baseball diamond known as the Miracle Field for use by children with disabilities. A generous land donation from the Hamilton Area YMCA helped get the project underway, and in September 2005 the first pitch was thrown on the Miracle Field. 

With his own daughter playing in the Miracle League, Carella points out the valuable role of volunteer "buddies" at the games and decided to get his Vikings players involved.

“I saw how my daughter had such a great time with players from The College of New Jersey, so I asked the director if we [Mercer baseball] could also get involved,” he said. Several team members had volunteered a few years back and when he asked them recently, they were excited for the opportunity to help.

At this past week’s games, ten Vikings players came out to buddy-up with Miracle League players. Carella says even more Vikings were ready to sign up, but the league limits the number so the field doesn’t get too crowded.

Vikings’ players were assigned to different tasks depending on what kind of assistance each child needed. “Some guys pushed wheelchairs, while others simply ran alongside the players when they were batting.  They also had catches with players in the outfield,” Carella said.

According to Carella, there are multiple winners at these events. “In addition to the joy evident in the children, the games give the parents a break. Instead of being ‘on-duty,’ they have an opportunity to sit back and watch their child have fun,” he said. “That’s so important.”

Carella maintains that the experience for his players was also unquestionably positive. “They were able to take a step back from the competitive side of the game and help a child who is just happy to be on a baseball field. I think it puts things into perspective for them [MCCC players],” he said. “Some of them seemed to have as much fun as the children they were helping.”

The MCCC Vikings are three weeks into their fall season, practicing five or six days each week. On Sept. 18, they hosted their annual Scout Day and have 17 games scheduled through the end of October against several four-year schools. 

Founded in 1998, the Miracle League is an international organization with over 300 chapters. The Miracle League of Mercer County was the 15th local chapter to be founded in the United States and was the first in the Northeast. The chapter counts many local organizations among its partners: The Trenton Thunder, The College of New Jersey Baseball, Central Jersey Rebels/Trenton Thunder Baseball Academy, Sunnybrae Little League, Robbinsville Little League, Ability Tree of New Jersey, Hamilton Township School District, Hamilton Township Police Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department. Read more about the Miracle League of Mercer County here.


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Miracle League player at bat.



Vikings players offer advice on the pitcher's mound. 


Making friends on the baseball field.


MCCC Vikings are 'angels in the outfield.'