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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




MIRACLE LEAGUE

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MIRACLE LEAGUE. On March 6, 2017 the Dubuque City Council voted unanimously to approve a site plan for a Miracle League of Dubuque baseball diamond and "all-inclusive" playground at VETERANS' MEMORIAL PARK. Facilities including concession stands, restrooms, changing rooms and classrooms would all be accessible to people with physical and mental disabilities. (1)

Making room for the ball field would require the largest of the park's three diamonds to be leveled into a flat, rubberized surface. Prior to this happening, Miracle League of Dubuque would construct a diamond of the original size for those who were accustomed to using it. Once constructed, the City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department would operate and maintain the field. (2)

Plans in December 2017 for the ballpark for children with disabilities were moving ahead. The complex would also have an all inclusive playground, and pavilion. With an estimated 1,700 children with some type of disability in the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, project leaders believed a ballpark like this was needed. Even more children are counting on this outside of the city. The Miracle League was working on the final agreement with the city of Dubuque. If it went as planned, construction would start in the spring, with games starting in the fall. The total cost of the project was estimated to be $3.5 million. (3)

On April 29, 2019 organizers and city officials gathered for the groundbreaking. The Miracle League of Dubuque president Merle Santjer credited Tom Witry, baseball coach at STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL with providing the inspiration for the project. (4)

A ceremonial baseball game was held on July 15, 2021 to celebrate the official completion of the complex which was a $4.5 million project between the City of Dubuque, which owned and maintained the land, and private donors. (5)

See: PLAYGROUND MOVEMENT

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Source:

1. Barton, Thomas J. "City Council OKs Miracle League Plan," Telegraph Herald, March 7, 2017, p. 1A

2. Ibid.

3. Descorbeth, Shirley. Plans for Inclusive Baseball Field in Dubuque Moving Forward," KWWL.com, December 13, 2017, Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/37062498/2017/12/13/plans-for-inclusive-baseball-field-in-dubuque-moving-forward

4. Fisher, Benjamin, "Baseball for All," Telegraph Herald, April 30, 2019, p. 1

5. "City Focus," The City of Dubuque, p. 23