Beep Baseball World Series Offers Inspiring Look Into Other's Lives
GREECE, N.Y.-- America's favorite pastime is about more than hitting home runs this week. It's what they've been training for all spring. The time has come for a group of ball players to prove they're the best.
"To describe myself the other day, I said I'm like a dry sponge that's now dripping with excitement, learning, and pride," said Kirstyn Smith, team captain of Rochester Red Wings Beep Baseball team.
A few unusual rules throw a curveball into this baseball game... players cover their eyes. The only bases are first and third. It's four strikes and then you're out. The players who bat up at this 2015 NBBA World Series of Beep Baseball are visually impaired or blind.
"Each of us came here wondering if we could do this, how we could this, and learned that we can," Smith said.
"It's been so fun not only because we get to learn how to play the game, but you get the meet all these people who have the same people who have the same disability as you do," said Jordan Viera of Honeoye.
Twenty-four teams from around the U.S., Canada and Taiwan are playing in this series. In total, there are more than 500 men and women hoping to get the run that will make their team a champion. But, while they're trying to score, they're also inspiring everyone who's watching.
"I was bad enough when I played little league and baseball and high school that I could see, but with a blindfold, it gives you a new sense of respect for all of these players," Ron Campff, manager of Rochester Red Wings Beep Baseball team.
This adaptive version of the old ball game is also breaking stereotypes.
"I think a lot of people look at someone with a visual impairment and think they don't have a job, they don't have a family," said Dr. Lauren Liberman, a coordinator of the event. "But, all of these people are living typical lives and some are even excelling."
Most importantly, these players have inspired one another to swing for the fences.
"Each of us can take those fears and obstacles we have in our lives and learn how to deal with them," Smith smiled.
The world series of beep baseball funs until Friday and volunteers are still needed.