By: Coleman Swierc
There are your normal sounds of baseball...the ping of the bat, the roaring of the crowd, and the meeting of ball and leather.
But there is a new sound in baseball, one that beeps.
It is called beep baseball, and it has changed a game normally based on sight, into teaching others how to play, based on sound.
"We started this team to help not only the visually impaired, but to help the sighted understand what it feels like to be blind," sayd Larry Reed, co-founder of the East Texas Beep Baseball team.
Most players are blind, and those who aren't, are blind folded, swinging at a balls that beep, and running to bases that howl, definately not an easy task.
"One of our guys when he came out to play, put on the blindfold, and he was like, 'I cant do this, I mean I can't see, I really can't do this, " added Reed.
"It is scary, you will be out there and you are scared, you are off balance, you dont know where you are facing and stuff like that," said Jermael Jones, who is fully sighted, and volunteers his time to the team.
The game is not easy, running, swinging, and chasing sounds, but all along the goal of the sport never changes, to give all players the opportunity to have that winning feeling
Jones added, "It makes you happy just to see them happy, because you know it only comes around once a year, and they are out here playing their hearts out, so you will do your best to help them win."
And win they have, winning over fans in the stands, who come to watch, and even turning their players into local celebrities.
"The kids come up to me in the stores, and they are like, 'mommy, there is the man with the blind ball'," said Reed.
Of course, the ball is not blind, but the players are, players like Larry Reed, who doesn't let his lack of vision, sway his love of the game, a love, that is certainly better than 20-20.
But the game does not come cheap, as the team must raise its own money to travel.
The Beep Baseball World Series is around the corner, on July 27th in Houston, and the team is always looking for help.
If you would like to make a donation to a great cause, and support the East Texas Beep Baseball team, you can do so by contacting Susan Stewart at 936-229-9424 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org