ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Miriam Academy Magic have the least baseball experience of any team they played this year.
“Some of these kids have never even played baseball before,” says head coach and humanities teacher Chris Holmes.
Holmes is instilling the one-of-a-kind team with a passion for the game.
“That’s all you want, you just want a kid who tries their best, who loves the game of baseball,” Holmes says.
Freshman Daniel Meir is already hooked.
“I really look forward coming to this all week, all month,” Meir says.
He, like every player for the Magic, is part of the inaugural class at Miriam Academy, which is designed to help high school students with multi-faceted learning disabilities.
“It’s beautiful what happens, because as their confidence rises here with baseball it transfers into the classroom and they take more risks and they are more confident in the classroom,” Holmes says. “And as they succeed in the classroom, which they have, then that transfers back into baseball.”
Holmes came to Miriam with 15 years of teaching experience at Clayton and Hazelwood West High Schools, and was the 2014 Missouri Teacher of the Year.
He says at games, every hit and put out is emotional for himself and the parents. But his players are just enjoying the game.
“I asked him, I said ‘Are you happy?’ and he said ‘I’m happy to the nth degree,'” Holmes says. “It’s just, you feel so good for them.”
Their spring season in the Ballwin Athletic Association ended last week, But Meir is already thinking about his second year of baseball.
“I’d really like to practice some more because we are going to have one next year and I’m really looking forward to that,” Meir says. “And I don’t want to get rusty.”
“I think next year we might actually have a JV team playing against other small schools,” Holmes says. “That’s what they want, and we want to try to do what they want to do.”