WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) — A West Jordan family is honoring the memory of their son by giving back to the very community that rallied around them during extremely difficult times.
Richard and Heather Moffat’s son, Miles, 12, died in a car crash on June 4, 2021. Another of their son, Max, then 16, was critically injured but has since recovered. It was a tragic and devastating time for the family, but they managed to keep one foot in front of the other with all the love and support from the community and their family and friends.
The family had recently created the sMiles in the Outfield Foundation, which strives to pay all the fees associated with playing baseball on a team for as many kids as it is able to with the donations received.
The couple themselves said they are also going to select one special kid every year to sponsor.
Application entries for the Foundation can be submitted on behalf of the player themselves or someone they know who is deserving of the opportunity to have their entry fees for baseball paid.
To apply for the waiver, or to learn more about the foundation, please use this link. All submissions are confidential on the organization’s end, and those selected will remain anonymous. Donations can be made to the Foundation through Venmo.
Richard Moffat said they may have lost Miles that day, but he became their angel. The amazing memories Miles left behind help to carry them through each day.
“Miles loved the game of baseball,” said Richard Moffat. “You can see from his room that he is a huge Atlanta Braves fan (a lot of that comes from his Dad’s love for the Braves) and his favorite player being Ronald Acuna, Jr. Miles’ love for baseball goes far beyond the game. He loved the friendships he gained, his coaches, the treat tickets, and I would say he loved leading his teammates in cheers from the dugout.”
The father went on to say how the West Jordan Copperhills baseball league went above and beyond by holding a ceremony to honor Miles. The City of West Jordan has also decided to name the number four baseball field at Ron Wood ballpark as the Miles Moffat Field.
“He wasn’t the most athletic, but his heart and desire to compete made him a good player and a great teammate,” Richard Moffar said. “Our baseball family picked us up in this most difficult time in our lives. We wanted to pay it forward with all the love our family has received by starting sMiles in the Outfield. I can honestly say that I have felt that Miles has been a part of the inspiration and making this happen as well.”
The Moffats are well known throughout the baseball community, especially in and around West Jordan. Three of their four children have played the game for most of their lives and Richard has coached dozens of youths over the years.
Baseball is everything to the Moffats, and to them, it’s not just a game but a lifestyle.
Richard Moffat has played baseball since he was five years old and has coached for the past 15 years, and Heather Moffat has been a big help by being the team mom on multiple occasions and taking on many more job functions.
“Baseball is a big part of our family,” said Richard Moffat. “During those 15 years, many friendships were made, and our family spent many hours at the ball field, from cheering siblings and friends on to working in the snack bar and chasing after foul balls.”
Miles was working really hard on his baseball skills during the last year of his life. His father hung a net in the basement because he wanted to work on hitting off the tee. The 12-year-old boy also went to the neighbor’s house to hit in their batting cage and asked his dad and brothers to play catch in the front yard to work on his pitching.
“He was so excited and wanted to throw a curve ball, but I would not let him until he had his mechanics and accuracy down,” Richard Moffat said. “He was so close, and I heard rumors that Max was teaching him how to [do that] and actually had him throw it a couple of times while playing catch.”
The Moffat family has many favorite movies, especially movies that are sport related, and one of those is “Field of Dreams.” Ricahrd Moffart says the movie fits his life in a way because Kevin Costner’s character wanted to have one more catch with his dad. The role is flipped in Richard Moffat’s case as he would love to be able to have one more catch with his son.
It is no doubt the Moffats reach within the community of players and parents is big, but now they are hoping to make it bigger.
The purpose of the sMiles in the Outfield Foundation is to help players afford baseball-related fees. And since their son Miles can no longer play, the Moffats are committed to paying for one additional player for the next 8 years.
“We wanted to start this [foundation] so that others can play the game our family loves, and they can be a part of the baseball community as we have,” said Richard Moffat. “But most importantly, it is so that Miles’ love for the game could be lived on in others. That is what he would want, and that is the kind of person he is.”
The Moffats want to be able to help as many kids out as possible.
“As a family, we have committed that we will sponsor out of our own pockets one player for the next eight years (minimum),” said Richard Moffat. “We chose eight years because that is the number Miles wore, and it is Heather’s favorite number. As of today, we have only received one application, and can I tell you how awesome but also a tearjerker it was to read that application.”
Simultaneously, they are trying to raise funds to help provide these opportunities for those kids who may not otherwise be able to afford or have the means to play baseball. If the foundation gets enough donations, they said they hope to be able to take this so much further than entry fees. They would like to sponsor end-of-season awards for players that exemplify the attributes Miles did along with helping to provide equipment to players that need it or helping with any extras such as pitching days.
The Moffats’ hope is to swing for the fence on their new organization and hit it out of the park.
“We want this to be open to other leagues throughout Utah, and our ultimate vision is for this to be a nationwide program,” said Richard Moffat. “We are not looking for recognition or a pat on the back, we want Miles’ reputation and love for the game to be felt by as many people nationwide as possible. We want a kid that benefits from this foundation to learn about Miles and want to turn around and help someone else. There is no better feeling then paying it forward. There is so much negativity in the world today that we want to spread a little good throughout the country.”
For more information and learn how you can help, the organization has created a Facebook page and Instagram link. Or you can contact them at email@example.com.