DALTON, Ga. — The damaged oversized decorative baseball at the Miracle Field has been reshaped and will be restored, refurbished and given a new surrounding after it was knocked off its pedestal, dented and scuffed over the weekend.
Miracle League co-director Millie Hicks said a crew from the Whitfield County Public Works Department rounded out the dent in the ball, and plans are to have the ball completely repaired and repainted with new landscaping features around the pedestal that holds the ball.
“I had no doubt that people would step up and help us when we were in need,” Hicks said. “This community just amazes me. The amount of messages and offers for help we have received has been overwhelming. The love and the care they show for this Miracle Field has been amazing.”
The Miracle Field, which opened in 2012, is a specially-constructed turf diamond and outfield for special-needs baseball players. It is the home of the Miracle League, which has games and events there throughout the year.
Ken’s CarStar Body Works will work on the exterior of the ball and the repair of the dent and a hole caused by what the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office is investigating as vandalism at the Whitfield County Recreation Department’s Westside Park. The oversized baseball, which was originally on display outside of Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves, is a popular spot for picture taking, according to Hicks.
“The Miracle League and the Miracle Field are things that are really close to our heart,” said Jamie White of Ken’s CarStar. “We will go out to the field Thursday and look at it and evaluate it. We will treat it like a damaged car and get it back smooth and properly rounded. We’ll prime it and get the color right and then put a clear coat on it to protect it from the elements and ultraviolet rays.”
Home Depot in Dalton will sponsor and erect a low wall around the pedestal similar to a landscaping tree ring. The interior will be filled with rocks, and Hicks said they are attempting to find a way to secure the ball to the pedestal.
“We are going to make it pretty and give it a little bit of a barrier while still letting people take pictures in front of it,” said Lori Cochran of Home Depot. “It really broke our hearts when we heard what happened. We had already planned on doing a ring around it, and now there won’t be a shortage of volunteers whenever to put the sheet up to go out there and do the work.”
Both Home Depot and Ken’s CarStar have been donors and supporters of the Miracle Field since its inception. Hicks said both businesses have never hesitated to help and volunteer when needed.
Ken’s CarStar will have car washes on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at both its north Dalton location at 3518 Cleveland Highway and its south Dalton location at 1018 S. Thornton Ave. White said the proceeds will be split between the Miracle Field and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“We have employees and friends and family members who have been personally involved and touched by the Miracle League for years,” White said. “This is something that is close to our heart.”
Cochran agreed, and said you can’t help but walk away from the field touched by the love and kindness of all involved.
“The Miracle Field is a blessing, and anyone who is part of it feels blessed as well,” she said. “When you leave there, if you aren’t more humbled than when you got there ... It is absolute pure joy on the faces of the players and those who are helping, and it changes you.”