TSBVI logo | Home | Site Search | Outreach |

Fall 2005 Table of Contents
Versión español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Houston Youth Beep Baseball

By Kim Joiner, Parent, Pearland, TX

Abstract: A new youth beep baseball team is formed in Houston. Learn about this sport that was specifically designed for people with blindness. Discover resources to form a team in your area.

Key Words:Family, blind, visually impaired, deafblind, baseball, sports, beep baseball

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Houston would like to announce the newly formed youth beep baseball team _ THE HOUSTON MIGHTY EAGLES! Thanks to the hard work of Alice Davis, Rehabilitation Teacher for DARS-DBS and staff from that agency, children with visual impairments in the Houston area are now offered the opportunity to play on a competitive sports team.

Coach Alice Davis, Coach Angie Ortiz, Coach Ines Ortega, and Coach Ryan Harless have been practicing with the children for the past 2 months. The Mighty Eagles have soared in their ability to field the ball, hit, and run.

Dr. Ed "Doc" Bradley, President of the National Beep Baseball Association, and Ronnie Bruns, an adult beep baseball player, have been great supporters of the youth team. They have taught us the rules, donated equipment, and attended practices to teach the children drills and strategies for playing the sport. We are blessed to have adults who are willing to give back to our children!

We have also had many sponsors who have stepped forward to help with the cost of uniforms and equipment. Many thanks to: Expedited Logistic & Freight Service, LTD, Texas Creative Embroidery, Rev. Canon J. Payne, Sante Fe Trophies, Houston Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, Bayside Little League, and Dan Sturgill.

From the beginning, I saw smiling faces anxious to learn a sport that has been designed specifically for people with blindness. Several of our players are friends and siblings with sight; however their vision does not benefit them on this team. All players must wear blindfolds in order to participate. The baseball is larger than a softball and emits a beep. There are only two bases, first and third. The bases are large, tall foam structures which also emits a different type of beep. The Beep Baseball rules have been modified for the youth league. The players bat from a tee instead of being pitched to. Once a player has batted, he/she must listen for one of the bases to begin beeping. At that time the player runs to that base. A sighted spotter is in the field and calls the name of the nearest player to go after the ball. If a fielder picks up the ball before the player gets to the base, the batter is out. If the batter reaches the base before the ball is picked up, a run is scored.

On Saturday, August 13, 2005, The Houston Mighty Eagles had their first opportunity to play in a mini "World Series". The Little White Wings from Harlingen came to Houston to play in the series. It was a glorious sight to see such a proud and confident group of children. The Little White Wings played a fabulous game, however in the end, The Houston Mighty Eagles won. We offer many thanks to the Bayside Little League in Seabrook for hosting the World Series. At the conclusion of the game, the children were awarded with trophies and certificates, and medals that were donated by The Bayside Little League. National and world champion power-lifter for the blind, Cody Colchado, autographed posters for all the players.

Kayla Sturgill blessed the crowd with her beautiful voice by singing "God Bless America" before the game. I can tell you that there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd!

Most valuable players were announced for The Eagles Red and Blue teams. Congratulations to Kayleigh Joiner, MVP for the Red team, and Kayla Sturgill, MVP for the Blue team! Both children were given a beep baseball for their accomplishments.

The Eagles Red Team players are: Kayleigh Joiner, Courtney Redlinger, Brooke Valdez, Forrest Kirkpatrick, Jesse Ortiz, Raven McCoy, and Tamer Zaid.

The Eagles Blue Team players are: John Paul Garcia, David Thomas, Claire Thomas, David Harris, Kayla Sturgill, Elizabeth Ortega, and Robert Graves.

Congratulations kids - you all have once again proven to the world that "Can - Do" attitude!

Please feel free to contact Alice Davis with DARS 713-944-9924 or Kim Cunningham 281-482-8131 for information about starting a team in your area. The Youth Beep Baseball World Series will be playing in San Antonio in 2006 and we would love to have representation from across the state.

| Fall 2005 Table of Contents | Send E-Mail to SEE/HEAR|

Please complete the Comments! form or send comments and suggestions to Webmaster

Last Revision: September 1, 2010