Blind baseball team defeats opponents, and stereotypes
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A baseball team made up of blind players won an exhibition game on Sunday in a contest intended to give players and fans an appreciation of what life’s like for people who are blind or have limited sight.
The team from Future In Sight played against members of the front office of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and won 14-7 in Manchester. Future In Sight’s an organization that supports blind and visually impaired people. The exhibition game of Beep Baseball featured balls that send signals to alert players as they hit. Both teams played blindfolded.
When Ryan Menter, a 14-year-old resident of Berwick, Maine, stepped into the batter’s box for the first time on Sunday, but he wasn’t going to let anything hold him back — not even his own blindness.
“It was amazing to be out there and do something new,” Menter said. “You’re worried about this ball coming at you, but after a couple times, it’s a go with the flow thing, you kind of get used to it.”
The exhibition drew a few hundred fans to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, which is the home of the Fisher Cats, who play in the Eastern League and are a minor league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball. The Cats were scheduled to play the Binghamton Rumble Ponies later in the day.
Delaney Kelly, a blind Bow Elementary School student, and Randy Pierce, a Future In Sight board member who participated in the blindfolded game, were scheduled to throw out the first pitches for the Fisher Cats at the game against Binghampton.
“I think what you can do in this world is always more important than what you can’t do,” Pierce said. “The trick is to get away from labels and realize practice makes progress.”
This story has been corrected to say Randy Pierce is a current Future In Sight board member, and to clarify that the New Hampshire team was made up of front office members.