It's a movement to 'Power Thru Perceptions' as the league calls it. Alternative Baseball is a national league for players with special needs. The non-profit organization wants to pitch a team right here in Corpus Christi.
The Director of the league is using America's past time to provide opportunities to those with challenges similar to his own.
20 years ago, Taylor Duncan was diagnosed with autism. Duncan said he suffered from speech issues, sensory issues and anxiety growing up.
"As I got older, I still faced a lot of preconceived ideas and negative perceptions about what one with autism really can and can't accomplish," Duncan said.
One of those perceptions is that he couldn't play traditional baseball like other kids. But the love for the game didn't stop him from hitting the field; he joined a team in his church community. Duncan said he wanted to do more than just play. He wanted to give opportunities to other people with autism and special needs.
"It helps them develop teamwork skills," Duncan said. "It helps them develop team chemistry. They learn how to communicate with one another, whereas a lot of people on the autism spectrum may struggle with communication."
In 2016, he started the first Alternative Baseball team in a suburb west of Atlanta in Powder Springs, Georgia. Word of the non-profit garnered national attention. Duncan said they're up to almost 50 teams across the United States from Hawaii to New York.
"What was originally a local campaign to raise awareness and into acceptance, turned into a national campaign to promote more inclusive opportunities for those with disabilities especially after they graduate out of high school," Duncan said.
The coronavirus pandemic has put a pause on games for the league, but Duncan is taking the opportunity to add more teams and players to his roster. He's also looking to add a volunteer coach and team manager in Corpus Christi.
"Baseball experience is always nice, but it's the willingness to help others succeed and to help them break their own glass ceilings," Duncan said.
Volunteers have to go through a background check. Anyone 15 years or older can play.
Duncan hopes to have multiple 12 person teams in the area and hopefully play ball by Spring 2021. To volunteer click here.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
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