Looking forward to tonight

Published 12:02am Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kandy Richburg can’t wait to step on the baseball field tonight.

Richburg, along with the rest of her Angels team, will face the Braves in regular season Miracle League action at Johnson Park tonight at 6.

Before the game starts though, there will be a dedication ceremony that will start at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the grand opening of the park.

While tonight’s ceremony marks the grand opening of the field, for Kandy, it’s another awesome night playing baseball.

“She loves it and is so excited about (tonight’s game),” Kandy’s grandmother, Debi Richburg said. “We would practice at home, and she’d be so mad and didn’t want to hit the ball.

“Well, now when she gets up there, she hits the ball and goes straight to first base,” she said. “She doesn’t fuss a bit. She’s so excited about being there.”

The Miracle League opened its season on April 30, and every Tuesday night since, the Angels and Braves have been duking it out on the newly constructed diamond field. Players with disabilities and special needs participate in the league.

On that first night of baseball action, Debi said that it was quite emotional to watch her granddaughter play.

“I tried to talk to the (team) buddies, and about started crying,” she said. “It’s just so rewarding to get to see them.”

One of the biggest rewards she’s seen on the field of play is watching Brandon Calhoun play the game he loves, Debi said.

Calhoun was run over by a drunk driver at 9 years old and because of that, is bent over and has to sit down frequently.

Richburg said Calhoun didn’t want to hit from the tee during his first time at bat because he played baseball well before the incident.

“His momma told me she had no idea he could hit the ball,” she said. “Brandon hit the ball and she just sat there and boo-hooed. That was the first time since he was 9 years old he got to play baseball.”

Covington County Miracle League project coordinator Barbara Tyler said the community, if it hasn’t gotten the chance, needs to come out tonight to watch the game.

“We hope the community will come out and support the Miracle League,” she said. “If you get a chance to stay during the celebration of the dedication ceremony, stay for the game between the Braves and the Angels.”

Richburg said the Miracle League is probably without a doubt the best thing that’s happened to this area in a long time.

“I am just in awe,” she said. “It’s so awesome I can’t even tell you how great it is for those kids.”

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