For years, Raymond Lara would sit on the sidelines and watch his big brother Roman play baseball, but when the League of Dreams started six years ago, Raymond got to take to the field, and he's been there ever since.
"Raymond is medically fragile and does need a lot of help,” said his mother Susan Lara. “But when he's on that field, he has a blast, and his big brother gets to be his angel and help him."
Raymond has cerebral palsy and mitochondrial disease, so he’s not able to walk or talk much.
On Sunday, he played on a new field called “Abilities Field.”
The field is an all surface field, so it doesn't tear up walkers and wheelchairs, says Jessica Mathews, the league coordinator.
The game times are shortened and the bases are closer together, so the players don't have to run very far.
“We just slow it down a little bit,” said Mathews. “So that way, they all get to play, and they all get to enjoy it."
Several games went on for the league's season opener. On one field, the Giants faced the Angels. Bailei Gavin helped Giants’ player Shay McAtee hit the ball.
“I feel like they need somebody that should help them,” said 14-year-old Gavin. “I love the game, and I feel like I could make a really good impact on her life."
Shay is wheelchair-bound, but her mom says that doesn't stop her.
“Each year, it's more encouraging,” said Tina Mcatee. “She comes out here, and she’s with her friends, and they all have different abilities, and everybody deserves to wear a jersey.”
And for many families in the league, these games are about giving all kids a chance to play ball.
"Our family is always together in whatever we do,” says Lara, whose husband coaches their son’s team. “Now, we get to do something for Raymond, this is his thing, and it's an answer to our prayers.”
If you'd like to know when the League of Dreams’ teams play next, you can check the schedule www.ourleagueofdreams.com.