SPECIAL NEEDS BASEBALL

SPECIAL  NEEDS  POPULATION  PLAYS  BASEBALL

The Atlanta Revolution Alternative Baseball Organization was founded to include players 16 years old and over who love the sport of baseball.  Meeting on Wednesday evenings at McEachern Methodist Church ball fields on Macland Road in Marietta, this group includes men and women who all share a common bond; they are a special needs population.  Players include those with autism, learning disabilities, physical challenges, and all are special.  And indeed they are….ball players!  The first game was played on Tuesday, May 10, and was a huge success.  Thanks to the dedicated work of league founder Taylor Duncan, the group played exciting ball which included spectacular catches, long drives to the outfield, and even a double play!  A hybrid of baseball and softball, players use metal or wood bats, hit a ball that is between the normal size of a baseball and a softball, and is soft enough to play without gloves.  Most players use gloves, and some are dressed in baseball/softball uniforms.  No age limit other than the 16yr. minimum exists, and teams are formed just before play begins.  Pitchers may pitch either overhand or underhand, according to the relative skill level of the batter.  AIU umpires donate their time to add structure to the games, thereby eliminating a cost to the players to participate. The intent is to play the game well, enjoy the skills required to succeed, and encourage each other.  Much laughter and special moments highlighted the first game, and no one kept score.  Both teams had great moments, and for those who struck out or did not get a hit, it was a thrill just to be playing.  A full grandstand of parents, relatives, and others interested cheered on the plays, and the cool evening air and bright sun made for an ideal setting for the game.  This group plans on having practices on Wednesdays in the early evening, and will schedule a game about once a month.  For further information, or to join the organization, please contact Taylor Duncan at 770-313-1762. For a video look at the Atlanta Revolution program, go to http://www.facebook.com/AtlantaRevolution

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