Fairfield’s newest inclusive sports venue is one of the region’s most unique

More than 200 people and businesses have contributed to opening the next part of Joe Nuxhall’s dream to give disabled children and adults a handicapped-accessible mini-golf course.

Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at Hatton Park on Groh Lane opened in July 2012, and since it has grown to include multiple features, including playground equipment for disabled children. On Oct. 5, a grand opening celebration will be held to open the 18-hole mini-golf course.

It is the latest move by a Butler County organization to provide facilities in an inclusive way.

At first, the course will be exclusively for the disabled adults and children who play Friday night and Saturday morning baseball games. But Miracle League CEO Kim Nuxhall said the course would eventually be made available for the public, likely next year.

PHOTOS: Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Field

“It’s another neat addition to the complex, no doubt,” he said. “It’s giving kids, especially those in wheelchairs, the opportunity to play on a fully accessible course, as far as we know is not available in this area, even in the tri-state area.”

Nuxhall said those in what he called the Skidmore Sales mini-golf club will be the first to have special access, complete with a personalized gate code, putter and golf ball.

Nuxhall said it will be fulfilling to see the children and adults playing, especially because many will be playing mini golf for the first time.

“Dad would have loved it,” he said.

Four of the course obstacles come from his family’s driving range near Joyce Park, which Nuxhall operated and at which the elder Nuxhall spent many hours.

Joe Nuxhall, who died in November 2007, was a champion for the disabled and envisioned having a complex such as the Miracle League Field. Nuxhall, who was born in Hamilton and lived most of his life in Fairfield, became the youngest person to play in a Major League Baseball game when he pitched two-thirds of an inning on June 10, 1944 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The eventual Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and announcer was 15 years, 10 months and 12 days old.

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“It will be like their own private club. The Skidmore Sales official golf club,” said Nuxhall.

Skidmore Sales & Distributing in West Chester Twp. is the naming sponsor for the course. Skidmore CEO Doug Skidmore said part of their core values is helping others, and the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League is “a good fit for our team.”

The next, and likely final, piece of the complex is to build a gymnasium.

“That’s the granddaddy of them all,” Nuxhall said. “That will give us a full, year-round facility. There are so many things we can do in there.”

Nuxhall envisions organizing a variety of wheelchair sports, such as basketball, soccer and rugby.

The grand opening is set for 12:30 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Field, 4850 Groh Lane.

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