NEW PHILADELPHIA - The area’s baseball league for children and adults with disabilities is celebrating the start of a new era with a new field to call their own thanks to the Rainbow Connection.
Tuscarawas County Challenger teams on Saturday played their first games at their new, handicapped-accessible home field on the grounds of Faith Christian Church. League President Jennifer Flaherty says they’ll be forever grateful to the church and the Rainbow Connection for a field that’s better than they ever could have imagined.
"Having this field made so many dreams come true for so many players and so many families. Thank you," she says.
Wilma Goedel came out to watch her grandson Thomas play for the Cardinals. She describes the new facility with its concession stand, shaded seating area, paved walkways and handicapped-accessible restrooms as truly amazing.
"I love it. All the kids can play on the same field, one location, just very convenient," she says.
David Shroyer says he knows his grandson, Tigers player Bryce Newton, and the other players are thankful for the field, even if they can’t express it.
"I know these kids appreciate it one way or another and their families and the coaches," he says.
The league previously played at five different fields scattered throughout Tuscarawas County. Tyler Boitnott of Uhrichsville whose son plays for the Braves says it’s great to finally have a central place where all the teams can play together.
"Oh, it’s amazing. It gets all the kids out here to play that they normally wouldn’t get to. It gets them all on one field. It’s really awesome," he says.
The league dubbed the new facility Logan McCauley Field in honor of its first member who threw the first pitch of the day.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV