Blind veterans can play baseball thanks to the Augusta VA. (June 3, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, June 3, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Lots of us enjoy playing sports, but it's tough to play if you can't see. The uptown VA is doing something about it by helping blind veterans stay active, and they're doing more than walking around the block. It's a sport called beep baseball.
"The object of the game is to hit the ball and run to a sound source base," Ron Worley, a blind rehabilitation specialist said. "If he touches the bag in any wau before the fielder stops the ball, picks it up, and holds it in the air, then he scores a run."
Sure, it's a game. But some people say it's more than that; they say it's about improving the quality of lives.
"When you've lost your sight, hey, you're in a new world. you're scared to move around. You're moving slowly and stiffly, that kind of thing," Adaptive Sports Consultant Roger Keeney said. "Once you've played beep ball, because you're running dead out to get to the bases, you're learning to be unafraid of your surroundings."
Keeney says being unafraid of your surroundings is just the start.
"Once you've done it, then nothing is impossible, ever," he says. "The whole rest of their life opens up."
And that's why the VA is trying to start a traveling beep baseball team, but you don't have to be a blind veteran to participate. Pitchers need to be able to see, and since the team would be traveling, it would need help with transportation. If you want to get involved, contact Ava Carruth at the VA at (706) 733-0118, ext. 6687.
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