MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sports fans have missed the beautiful windy days of baseball.
“With the pandemic going on and stuff like that, everybody has been closing doors so it’s nice when you can get outside and watch people play baseball,” said volunteer David Willis.
With fields empty for months, the action is back. But what will be new to the Memphis-area mound is Alternative Baseball. WREG’s Symone Woolridge spoke to the program’s biggest cheerleader Taylor Duncan, who sparked the idea five years ago.
It’s a way for those with autism and special needs to play the game.
“When we’re getting the opportunities to perform well on the same level as everyone else, we can succeed too. We’re teachable. We might learn differently but it’s important to have some openness,” said Duncan.
Almost every day of the week he is putting his baseball passion to work. He works behind the scenes communicating with news outlets, sponsors and volunteers to help bring the baseball program to every city in and out of the country.
“I just got done at 2:30 in the morning with an interview in Guam for a newspaper in Guam,” he told WREG. “They’re wanting to start a coach there. So that’s the reason why I’m going off to college and getting this bachelors degree and doing these marketing classes so I can run this on a national scale.”
He said to make it all happen he needs players and volunteers like Willis who moved to the Memphis area for a new job and to help Duncan bring the baseball experience here.
“I saw the newscast down on the news in the Jackson area and after I heard his conversation and everything he just automatically gets you motivated about this program,” said Willis. “You can’t help but get motivated about the whole program.”
“Just to see them put a smile on their face, just watching them have fun. You know, that’s the best part about it,” he added. No matter the circumstances, everyone deserves to be a part of the traditional experience. That’s why volunteers like Willis and founders like Duncan are doing all they can to bring the noise back to the baseball diamond everywhere from everyone.