Southwest Michigan Miracle League

The Miracle League provides a safe and fun environment where kids with disabilities can enjoy themselves and experience the camaraderie of playing baseball in a field all their own.

The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. 

Come join us. 

The Game

Our mission is to provide opportunities for kids, regardless of their abilities, to compete and experience the joy and benefits that come from playing sports.

About us

The Miracle League is a national organization that provides opportunities for kids with disabilities to play baseball, regardless of their abilities. The organization promotes community support and sponsorship of Miracle Leagues across the country. The Miracle League also promotes the construction of special facilities that meet the unique needs of Miracle League players and their families.

A Miracle League Field lets kids with disabilities – both boys and girls – enjoy themselves and experience the camaraderie of playing baseball in a field all their own. A Miracle League Field is a custom-designed field with a cushioned, rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts, and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair users or visually impaired players. The Miracle League also uses a special ball that is bigger and softer than a traditional baseball. The Miracle League is open to kids aged 5-19 whose physical or mental abilities are better served by the specialized playing field and rules of play that the Miracle League provides. The Miracle League provides many benefits to kids with disabilities:

  • A break from their everyday challenges and barriers, allowing them to relax, have fun and be a kid.
  • The joy of playing baseball, America’s favorite pastime, and being outside and active.
  • The camaraderie of being on a team and making new friends.
  • The opportunity to build self-esteem and confidence and move outside their comfort zone.

In 2020, we completed the first phase of the Southwest Michigan Miracle Field in Schoolcraft, Michigan, to serve the southwest Michigan area. The Miracle Field will bring together everyone in the community and give them a chance to enjoy playing baseball and having fun. Our field is an inclusive field. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their abilities, and there’s a role for everyone here.

If you know of a kid aged 5-19 who would like to play, or if you’re interested in volunteering, please visit our registration site to learn more and sign up. Now we move into the next phase of fundraising. Although we’ve built the Miracle Field, we have more work to do: adding more parking, installing lights, landscaping the property around the field, and so much more. We also want to support the players and teams that will enjoy our field and are looking for league, team and player sponsors.

Miracle League History

The Miracle League is a nonprofit  organization that has been around for over 20 years.

The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Georgia in April 2000.  Word spread and by 2002, fields opened in South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Illinois, and California. 

Presently there are over 300 Miracle League organizations across the country, including in Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia. In Michigan, there are currently Miracle Leagues in Grand Rapids, Lansing and the Detroit area. The Miracle League serves over 250,000 individuals with disabilities. Learn more at

Meet The Board

Jud Hoff


Jud grew up in Olympia, Washington. After attending the United States Military Academy at West Point and serving in the Army as an aviation officer, Stryker brought him to Kalamazoo, Michigan. He spent 26 years at Stryker, serving in a variety of leadership roles at the division and corporate level. Jud retired in 2016 and currently serves on several non-profit and for-profit boards. His passion for fitness and kids led him to become a co-owner in Next Level Performance and The Dome Sports Center. After seeing a Miracle League game, he was hooked. Jud is committed to bringing the Miracle League to life in southwest Michigan to allow this group of young athletes the opportunity to make a difference in their community. Jud, his wife, Darcy, and four children call Portage, Michigan, home.

Josh Baird

Vice President

Having grown up in southwest Michigan, Josh attended Michigan State University to pursue a career as a chemistry/math teacher and coach. After graduation, life took Josh on a different path to Stryker, where he served in various roles for over 15 years. With his passion for investing in students’ lives, his love of athletics, and his business experience, Josh leads Next Level Performance and The Dome’s business operations and works diligently to build partnerships that enable Next Level to offer athletes everything they need to succeed in the classroom, on the playing field, and in their communities. Josh resides in Vicksburg, Michigan, with his wife, Amber, and son, Jacob.

Bill Deming


A Portage, Michigan, resident since 1980, Bill retired from Parks, Recreation and Public Services in 2015 after 35 years of service to the City of Portage. Bill has a long history of involvement with various community groups by serving on various boards, and he continues to stay engaged in his profession as a consultant. He is a baseball enthusiast, having played collegiate ball and beyond, and he is now coaching his grandson’s Little League team.

Dave Olson

Board Member

Dave grew up in Vicksburg, Michigan and still lives in the area with his wife, Kim. Dave is self-employed and very involved in his grandchildren’s local sports teams. Dave has coached many baseball teams and served on the Vicksburg Little League and the First Challenger teams. After attending a Miracle Field baseball game at the Art Van Sports Complex in Grand Rapids, Dave became driven to duplicate the opportunity in southwest Michigan. Dave and Kim have two sons, David and Ryan, and four grandchildren, Cameron, Ava, Landon and Havana, who are the pride of their lives.

Lisa Anspaugh

CPA, Treasurer

Lisa is a certified public accountant and has over 25 years of public accounting experience, along with three years in the banking industry as a portfolio manager and private lender. Lisa is a Mattawan High School and Western Michigan University graduate. She now lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan, with her husband, Bob. Her family also includes her daughter, Faith, and grandson, Beckham, and twin sons, Nolan and Caleb. Lisa brings a love and passion for baseball and softball by playing herself and now coaching her daughter, as well as watching her husband coach their twin sons, who now play at the collegiate level. Most recently she got to see her grandson share the love of baseball as he played his first season of T-ball. She is thrilled to be a part of an organization that will bring the love of the game to a whole new group of athletes!

Josh Will

Board Member

Josh is passionate about helping others by doing everything he can to give everyone a reason to smile. It’s that passion that led Josh to the Miracle League. Josh’s cousin, Derek, who loves baseball, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at a young age, which started Josh down this path. Derek’s parents and the rest of family rallied around him to start various fundraising efforts to help fight Duchenne, and Josh would help out in any way he could. “When Derek smiles, he lights up a room, and that’s when it hits you. While this young kid has every reason to be sad and upset at the world, he shows us all that there is plenty to be grateful for.” After learning of the Miracle League and its mission, Josh knew immediately that he wanted to be involved. Josh is a cool guy (his words) and would love for you stop by and say hello when you attend a Miracle League game. Josh has worked in the financial industry for over 14 years. He and his daughter, Grace, who is also a member of the Youth Board, resides in Portage.

Wade Rutkoskie

Fund development

Wade received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University. He has worked in a variety of industries in the Kalamazoo area, including construction management and medical technology and currently works at Tekna, a product development company. Wade stays active in various projects and committees, volunteering as an advisor for Junior Achievement, serving on multiple school planning committees and as the President of the Schoolcraft Athletic Boosters, and was recently voted onto the Schoolcraft Community Schools Board of Education. As a former athlete and current baseball and football coach, Wade is passionate about sports and the opportunities they provide to kids to learn about being a team player and a leader in all aspects of their lives. Wade, his wife, Cari, and son, Thomas live in Schoolcraft, Michigan, and Thomas serves on the Miracle League Youth Board.

Billy Gernon

Board Member

Billy is the head coach of the Western Michigan University Broncos baseball team. In 2016, Gernon led WMU to its first MAC Tournament Championship in school history, as well as a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 27 years. In his last nine years at the helm of the Broncos, Gernon has led the team to the MAC tournament an unprecedented six times. Billy and his team support the community in various ways, including United Way Big Brothers Program, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Bronson Children’s Hospital, Loaves & Fishes, Toys for Tots, Tree of Life, and the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. Billy has a passion for serving others, especially young kids. He believes that players learn many valuable life lessons when they give of their personal time and realize the impact they can have on someone’s life. He looks forward to working with the Miracle League with his team and players to serve something much greater than themselves.

Cari Rutkoskie

marketing & PR

Cari has lived in Schoolcraft, Michigan, for over 20 years and is excited to see the Miracle League come to life. Cari received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan. She started her career at a law firm in Portage, Michigan, then spent over 24 years at Stryker in the areas of legal, human resources, communications and brand. Although she didn’t play sports as a kid, she loves watching her teenaged son, Thomas, play baseball, football and basketball and supporting her husband, Wade, who is a coach. Cari is the owner of Words Matter Consulting, which specializes in communications, brand messaging and employee value proposition/employment brand.

Amy DiMaggio

League Operations

Amy is from St. Joseph, Michigan, and has lived in the Kalamazoo/Portage area for over 25 years. She has degrees in Spanish, Secondary Education and School Counseling from Western Michigan University. For the past 23 years, Amy has worked in public education teaching high school Spanish and as a school counselor. She is currently the Director of Counseling at Portage Northern and is the team leader for all school counseling in Portage. Amy has been involved in baseball and softball her entire life and has coached t-ball, Little League and travel softball with her daughter, Roxy Lee. Her other daughter, Ruby Jo, is a player for the Southwest Michigan Miracle League. Ruby has cerebral palsy, a result of birth trauma, and is 100% physically impaired; however, she’s a happy young woman who loves to be around others, engage in activities and communicate with her eyes and body language. Amy lives in Portage with her wife, Kelly, her daughters, Ruby and Roxy, and her mom (Ruby’s grandma/caregiver), Marilyn. Amy feels so blessed to have an amazing village to help care for Ruby and provide the best life for her, and she is thrilled to bring the Miracle League to kids in southwest Michigan.

Our Location

Map Details

12935 US-131

Schoolcraft, MI 49087


Play Baseball With Us!

Thank you for a wonderful first season! We look forward to seeing you in Spring 2022.

Ages 5-19. No previous experience needed.

Equipment provided, if needed.

Volunteer buddies available to assist players.

Need help with the registration fee? Email [email protected] for scholarship information. 

You must register to play using the link above in addition to applying for financial assistance.

We are looking for volunteers to serve as coaches and buddies for Miracle League games!

Buddy qualifications:

  • Assist the player by holding their hand, pushing their wheelchair, or helping them in whatever capacity they need help
  • Protect the player at all times
  • Allow the player as much freedom to play their own game as possible
  • Ensure the player has fun
  • Have good spirit, enthusiasm, love, attitude, and concern in motivating the player and their families
  • Age requirement is 14+ (exception: if buddy is a player’s sibling, must be 10 or older)




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