Blind Baseball

Someone asked me the other day if I thought if the people of the world were eventually going to destroy our planet. Not just environmentally–like, quite literally destroy each other through crime, war, hate, etc.

I said, no, I don’t think so. I’m worried about the ozone and the growing population of impoverished people in the world, but overall, I have hope.

Here’s one very small reason why.

This spring, on most days when I play soccer, I’ve been witness to a rather miraculous sport taking place on the same field: blind baseball.

It’s literally what you think it is. Blind people playing baseball. They have some help from a few non-blind people, but mostly it’s just a crowd of blind adults playing baseball.

How do they do it? They set up a temporary field with these padded columns that omit sound. I’m honestly not quite sure how it works, but the frequency of the sound tells the blind people the proximity of the ball. The game is still way more difficult than non-blind baseball, but they actually hit the ball, round the bases, and retrieve the ball.

It’s stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Every time I witness blind baseball, my heart is warmed for a number of reasons:

  • I put myself in their shoes–or at least I try to–and I think how amazing it must be for those blind men and women to participate in a sport that is highly reliant on sight for everyone else. There’s a little bit of confusion and frustration, but mostly I see joy when they play. Sheer joy.
  • It warms my heart that someone took the time to invent blind baseball. Someone cared enough to do that for a very small slice of the population. That’s awesome.
  • Most of the blind people are out of shape. I’d never thought about that aspect of blindness. I take for granted the ease with which I can stay in shape because I can see, but for the blind, it must be much more difficult. So I think it’s wonderful that they have a reason to stay active and get healthy.
  • I play soccer with about 40 guys and girls. Not once have I heard any of them make fun of the blind baseball players. I know, that should be a given, but out of 40 people you’d think there would be at least one jerk who gets off on putting others down. Not once has that happened. Maybe I just play soccer with good people, but my hope is that it’s indicative of people in general.

So there it is. A little bit of hope in the world. Have you ever experienced anything like this? What was the last thing you witness that gave you hope (anything, not just related to disabilities)?

6 thoughts on “Blind Baseball”

  1. Sometime in the last year, I was on a MetroBus riding down Manchester. We were stopped in busy traffic, and out of the window we saw a woman walking with a walker fall down on the sidewalk. Without a word, 3 male passengers jumped up, the driver opened the door, they assisted her, picked up her things, steadied her, sent her on her way, and re-boarded the bus. Were we perhaps a minute delayed? Yes. Was my heart hopeful that there was no doubt/arguing/reasoning communicated among anyone involved about doing whatever it took to help that woman? You bet. I know public transit gets a lot of flack and fear in STL, but I’ll stand behind that community any day.

    Reply
    • Emma–Thank you SO much for sharing this. That made my day to read. I love that it was a shared instinct by multiple people to help the woman back to her feet.

      Reply
    • That’s an awesome story. High fives for everybody!

      I wish St. Louisans are less afraid of public transit. It is a great thing to have and helps with city development.

      Great post, Jamey. Never heard of such a thing. I want to go see a game. Where is it?

      Reply
  2. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really one thing which I believe I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very large for me. I’m taking a look ahead for your subsequent submit, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Reply

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