“Every Child Deserves to Play the Game of Baseball”
A Miracle Field provides special-needs children, young adults and adults the opportunity to play the game of baseball (and other sports) on a purpose-built surface. The goal of the organization, The Miracle League of Ottawa, is to facilitate these opportunities to play baseball on a safe and more enjoyable custom-designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries. A Field also includes wheelchair accessible dugouts and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound, visually impaired players with special needs. The complex will also include a fully accessible playground built on the same base material.
With the first field constructed in 1999, there are presently 250 Miracle League Organizations across the US and in Puerto Rico, Canada (Amhertsberg, ON) and Australia. Over 200,000 children and young adults with disabilities enjoy play at Miracle League fields.
In the summer of 2012, the Champions for Ottawa Baseball and the Rotary Club of Orleans were approached by the Desrochers family from Orleans to help support a dream: a Miracle Field in the Nation’s Capital so Bryce Desrochers, a grade six student, could enjoy the game of baseball in a safe environment. Rolly and Michelle Desrochers know that sports gives their son Bryce, born with cerebral palsy, a great deal of joy. Hundreds of other “special needs” children and adults will similarly benefit.
Presently, the Miracle League of Ottawa is an incorporated non-profit with a Board of Directors and active volunteers, thanks to the support of Sonshine Families, the Rotary Club of Orleans and Progressive Waste Solutions and the Friends of the Mer Bleu Community Fund.
In the Fall of 2012, A fundraising project was launched at Place D’Orleans to construct Ottawa’s first, and Canada’s second, fully functional Miracle League program at the Notre-Dame des Champs park in Orleans to include a field, playground structure and Clubhouse with fully accessible washrooms and changerooms.
On Friday August 14, 2015, the Miracle Field of Ottawa was officially unveiled by Mayor Jim Watson, members of Council and Marie France Lalonde, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa – Orleans. The Board completed the Capital fundraising phase ($1.6M) of the vision for a Miracle Field in mid-2015 after support was received from the City of Ottawa’s Community Partnership Major Capital Program for a 50/50 share of the total project cost and other partners such as the Rotary Clubs Ottawa, JaysCare Foundation, Malhotra Family Foundation, Telus Community Fund, Kraft, The Trillium Foundation, Trinity Developments and more (for a full list please see our website).
The Miracle Field of Ottawa is about helping a very special dream come true. Our community partnerships will enable these facilities to meet the unique needs of players, and assist the Miracle League to outreach across Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec for operations in 2015 and beyond. The combined baseball field and play structure will be the first of its kind in Ottawa joining 250 other Miracle League Clubs throughout North America.
The Miracle League of Ottawa will manage Field operations in partnership with the City of Ottawa.
Team Launch – June 2014
During a ceremony at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, league commissioner Miles Wolff and local baseball champion David Gourlay were on hand to announce the Ottawa Champions would begin play in 2015.
Logo Launch – August 2014
The Ottawa Champions released their new corporate logo and a special baseball hat logo at a ceremony in August 2014.
“The Ottawa Champions aspire to reflect our community and our new logo represents our passion for playing the game of baseball right here in the Nation’s Capital,” said Champions President David Gourlay.
Hal Lanier and Sebastien Boucher Announced – November 2014
In November 2014, the Ottawa Champions made former NL Manager of the Year Hal Lanier the first manager in team history. At the same time, they acquired their first player, Gatineau native Sebastien Boucher.
Beer & Bats – January 2015
The Ottawa Champions made a commitment to local business by announcing an official baseball bat partnership with SamBat Corporation and two beer partnerships with Kichesippi Beer Co. and the Clocktower BrewPub.
Concession Announcement – March 2015
On March 2, 2015 the Ottawa Champions announced a concession partnership with Quebec-based Sportscene Group, which operates the La Cage aux Sports chain of restaurants. It was also announced that Ottawa-based Gabriel Pizza would be selling their bigger, better pizzas at RCGT Park.
Naming Rights Announcement – March 2015
The Ottawa Champions announced an historic multi-year partnership with leading tax and advisory firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton for the naming rights to the Ottawa Ballpark.
History Campaign – April 2015
The Ottawa Champions joined together with Mayor Jim Watson and the Miracle League of Ottawa to unveil three cases of baseball memorabilia that are now on display in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. The memorabilia was the result of donations from the Golden Moments campaign, which launched in 2014
Inaugural Season Opener - May 22, 2015
Former San Diego Padres starter Andrew Werner threw the first pitch in Ottawa Champions history, a ball to Sussex County Miners LF Johnny Bladel. The Champions went on to win their first game 8-1 and Werner went on to win 12 games in 2015.
Cuban Series Announcement - March 2016
The Can-Am League made history by agreeing to a deal with the Cuban Baseball Federation to have the Cuban National Team play a series of 20 games against all six members of the league. The Champions would also go on to sign two Cuban Nationals for the 2016 season, Alexander Malleta and Donal Duarte.
Champions Are Champions! - September 2016
On September 17, 2016 the Ottawa Champions completed an historic comeback, coming back from a two-games-to-none deficit to beat the Rockland Boulders in the Can-Am League finals. Pitcher of the Year Austin Chrismon threw a complete game as the the Champions made history in only their second season.