Tyler beep baseball team gearing up to compete in 2022 World Series
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler Tigers beep baseball team, which was started in 1994 to welcome blind individuals to play an active sport, is getting ready to compete in the National Beep Baseball Association’s 2022 World Series.
Rosie Reed, a team vice president, plays alongside her husband Larry Reed who is the team’s president.
“It helps build my self-esteem and my confidence,” Rosie said.
Reed said before she knew of beep baseball she was often overlooked in many other sports other than track.
“You were always the last one chosen cause people knew your eyes were bad,” Rosie said.
Reed has no vision in her left eye due to bad nerve endings, cornea scarring, and astigmatism she has had since birth.
“So with beep baseball, it’s about your athleticism, and its not based on what you can see or what you can’t see,” Reed said.
Due to each team player’s different vision capabilities, blindfolds are worn to give everyone an equal difficulty setting.
“Your pitcher is on your team,” Reed explained. “The job of your pitcher is to get you to hit the ball, and your pitcher is going to say, “Set, ready, ball,” and you swing and you have to run to the base that’s beeping.”
Unlike traditional baseball, there are only two bases in beep ball which is first and third base.
The sighted volunteers assist the blind players with equipment, setting up defense, and making sure they have water when playing outside in hot temperatures.
Carlos Black has been a member of the team since 2018.
He heard about the beep baseball team through a friend.
“I thought she was telling a joke cause she knew that I was blind, and then I realized she was serious,” Black said. “I came out here for the first time and started doing it. I was excited to be a part of an organization where people could understand where I’m coming from dealing with a lot in losing your eyesight,” Black said.
He lost his eyesight seven years ago as a result of having Type 1 diabetes.
“For those who are watching, don’t count us out because we have disabilities,” Black said. “We’re out here doing the best we can and just trying to live life like everyone else. Don’t count us out.”
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