Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

MSU Baseball and Softball Teams Host Beautiful Lives Field of Dreams Event for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, the Michigan State University baseball and softball teams host the Beautiful Lives Project Field of Dreams event. The Beautiful Lives Project is a nonprofit that allows people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in activities that they may not have been able to prior. 


On Thursday afternoon nearly 100 people came to McLane Stadium at Kobs Field where athletes from the MSU baseball and softball teams went through different drills and did activities with the students. 


“We had a bunch of kids from the Lansing area come out and get a chance to play baseball and softball with our MSU baseball and softball teams,” said MSU baseball Head Coach Jake Boss Jr. 


Boss said, “It was a lot of fun for our players and the softball team. Most importantly, the kids that came out I think had a ball and that’s what it’s all about. It’s important for our guys to understand the importance of giving back. I think it helps our guys appreciate what we do have. I think they understand the platform that they’re given and the responsibility that comes with that platform. And most importantly, it’s a chance to put a smile on somebody’s face. If not for an afternoon, for maybe an hour, and when these kids light up running the bases or playing catch, or when they hit a ball and their face lights up again, that’s what it’s all about.” 


The kids spent the day practicing with the players; running bases, playing catch and having a good time. 


“This is an awesome event,” said MSU softball Head Coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley.


McDonald-Kelley said, “It’s so cool for our players to come out here and serve our community and hang out with some young kids and just teach them the game, but just really have fun. I think our players love it. They’ve been talking about it all week. Some of them are like, can I not go to class and go to this? I’m like, no, you got to go to class, but they love the opportunity especially to work with kids. A lot of them love kids so much and they all love their sport. So it’s just a fun time to put both together.”


The players find this experience to be both fun and deeply impactful.


“Today I’ve been doing a bit of everything, I’ve been an outfielder, I’ve been a catcher,  I’ve been an umpire, I’ve been a friend, and really, I’ve been somebody that they look up to, which is the most important,” said MSU baseball player Noah Matheny. “I think it just puts into perspective how fortunate we are and to be a part of something that is of this magnitude is really humbling. I’m really extremely thankful for that.”


MSU softball outfielder Hailey Bila spent the day having fun playing catch with the kids. After spending the day with them, she feels even more grateful for the opportunities she has as a college athlete.


“We’ve seen lots of laughter and just happiness all around today,” Bila said. “It’s a fun sport and people are getting to play it and have fun. I am super excited that I got to have this experience just helping others and giving back to my community.”


Co-founder of the Beautiful Lives Project Bryce Weiler was excited to host the Field of Dreams event. Last year, MSU was the first college baseball and softball program in the country to host a Beautiful Lives Project event.


“I’m very grateful for Michigan State baseball and softball, this is the second event we’ve done with the two teams and they were the first-ever college baseball and college softball teams who were willing to do these events with the Beautiful Lives Project, so it means a lot to me to be able to come back,” Weiler said.


Weiler emphasized how life-changing this event can be for adults and children with disabilities.


“It’s a good mixture of teaching skills in the event while also giving people the chance to create friendships with the baseball and softball players and the coaches as well from both teams,” Weiler said.

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About the Contributors
Mia Nishanian, Visual Media Director
Tessa Kresch, Senior News Producer/Co-Host of Exposure
Tessa (she/her) is a senior pursuing a double major in Acting and Broadcast Journalism. She is the senior news producer & host of Exposure for Impact 89FM & has worked as a production assistant for the radio show, Stateside on Michigan Radio. When she's not at the station interviewing someone or mixing up some audio, you'll probably find her memorizing a script, performing on a stage somewhere, making some music, crocheting up a storm or watching hours worth of cat content.

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