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Nuxhall Miracle Fields Adding Merry-Go-Round, Mini Golf

John Kiesewetter

Joe and Kim Nuxhall's dreams of providing ordinary experiences for everyone will expand next year at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields.

Parents of developmentally disabled children, who say seeing them play baseball is truly a miracle, will be able to push them on a new $40,000 Ability Whirl ground-level wheelchair accessible merry-go-round next year at the complex on Groh Lane, Fairfield.  It will be "only the 11th in the nation," Kim Nuxhall says.

The funds were raised Wednesday at the third annualMiracle Ball benefitting the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz was presented the Joe Nuxhall Humanitarian Award at the sold-out banquet at Jungle Jim's Oscar Event Center, Fairfield.

Credit John Kiesewetter
Artist C.F. Payne at the Nuxhall unveiling Oct. 1, 2016.

In a few years, kids coming to the Miracle League Fields also will be able to play a nine-hole mini golf course west of the baseball fields, Nuxhall says.

"This will be the first 100 percent totally accessible golf course in the area," says Nuxhall, a retired Fairfield schools physical education teacher.  The $150,000 golf course will use some of the old ball hazard structures from the former Joe Nuxhall Golf Center driving range in Hamilton's Joyce Park.

The Miracle League Fields opened in 2012.  A wheel-chair accessible glider was added last year to the playground.  In October, the Nuxhalls unveiled a huge C.F. Payne drawing of Joe Nuxhall waving to fans from atop the left field wall.

People ranging from age 4 to 72 played baseball on the Miracle League Fields this year, Nuxhall said. "Nearly 1,000 special needs students from all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have experienced, just like dad, rounding third and heading for home," Nuxhall said.

Also on the drawing board is a gymnasium for year-round activities and offices to be built east of the Miracle Fields, he said.

"It's going to take a couple of years to raise funds (for the golf course), but we're a persistent bunch. We're a persistent bunch," Nuxhall said.

In a Thursday morning email, Nuxhall told those who attended the fund-raiser: "Thank you all for helping me carry the torch of dad’s legacy. He would be so, so proud of what the community for whom he loved so much has given in his memory."

Joe Nuxhall, former Reds pitcher and long-time broadcaster, died nine years ago, on Nov. 15, 2007. He was 79.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.