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A True Field of Dreams

 

The simple definition of Beep Baseball is: baseball for the blind.

The true definition of Beep Baseball is:

  • An opportunity for the five-year old boy who lost his vision in his right eye from cancer can now play his favorite sport after being told by his doctor that “regular” baseball would be too dangerous.
  • The veteran who lost his sight can once again participate in the sport he played
    before he chose to serve his country.
  • The young man born blind who until now has only listened to games on the radio can now experience what he has only visualized.

Dave Wickstrom had a vision last year after watching an ESPN E-60 segment on Beep Baseball. He wanted to bring Beep Baseball to Kentucky for visually impaired children and adults. His expectation was to have ten teams in the state of Kentucky. In September of 2014 there were fifty-one total teams in Kentucky with the possibility of sixty or more teams by Summer 2015.

Dave decided to take the vision one step farther. Beep Baseball is normally played on empty soccer or football fields but with the assistance of the Judge David Holton, Congressman Andy Barr, City of Frankfort, Franklin Fiscal Court and many other community and civic organizations the worlds first Beep Baseball field will open on May 22nd in Frankfort at Panther Athletic Complex on Old Lawrenceburg Road.

The field will look like any other baseball field with just a few exceptions. There will be two bases instead of three and the ball will beep when thrown. Each team will consist of six players instead of nine and the other players will wear blindfolds.

The area surrounding the Kentucky Beep Baseball field includes a shelter, ADA accessible restrooms and a walking track. Upon completion of all phases there will also be a handicapped accessible fishing area and a handicapped accessible playground which has been labeled as one of the best in the nation.

Visually impaired players will travel from all areas of the United States to participate in the opening of the field. On Friday May 22nd the All Stars will play the Wounded Warriors team then all participants will travel to Lexington to be guests at the Legends game. On Saturday pool play will begin with the championship game to be played on Sunday.

John Short, everyone’s favorite Great American, first introduced me to the game of Beep Baseball. The excitement in his voice was priceless as he invited me to the tournament. I will be there Saturday the 23rd cheering his team on to victory. Who knows he might even hit a “Big Un” to centerfield.

The Beep Baseball Kentucky field will truly be a “field of dreams.” A place where players can experience the sound of the bat cracking the ball, the thrill of stomping on home plate and the exhilaration of making it to first base. Fans will gather to support their teams and forever memories will be made, all made possible because a man found a way to help others.

If you would like to donate to Beep Baseball you can do so via GoFundMe.com/beepky.
Follow Beep Baseball on Twitter @Beepky or on Facebook at Beep Baseball Kentucky

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