Field of Dreams brings joy, baseball to Jersey shore town

It was opening day of baseball Saturday at the South Jersey Field of Dreams in Absecon.

The well-kept artificial turf and rubber field is a place where players with mental and physical disabilities can participate in the game of baseball.

Funded by donations and grants, the 16-year-old organization grew from an idea by Absecon resident Barry Hackett whose grandson Jacob is confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy.

There are over 300 children who participate in the league from across South Jersey, according to board member Joe Sabath.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

At bat in her wheelchair, 12-year-old Devon Reed from Rio Grande hits the ball and makes her way to first base with help from Baily Otto, a volunteer from Stockton University.

“It’s all these volunteers that keep the field going,” Sabath said. “It’s something to see the impact it’s made in the community, especially on the young people from the local schools and Stockton.”

“We love it here,” said Lauren Reed, Devon Reed’s mother while watching from the bleachers. “This is our third year and we look forward to it every year. She talks about it to everyone.”

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal