Photo Essay

Special Needs Baseball

Run, Alissa, Run

When I was in college, I roomed with a girl named Emily, who is now one of my best friends. Over the course of our friendship, I have gotten rather close with her family, including her sister who has Down's Syndrome. Her sister won my heart, and ever since meeting her I've had a soft spot for people with special needs. Once I graduated, I started looking for ways that I could get involved with the special needs community in my area. Someone posted about Special Needs Athletics on Facebook, and I knew that's where I wanted to volunteer my time.

The sport that I most wanted to participate in was baseball. There are players of all ages and lots of enthusiastic volunteers, making each game a fun and memorable event. The players are so happy to be there, and all they want to do is run around and have a good time. It's not about winning or losing; it's about playing the game, because in this league, everyone is a winner.

I think what is so special about this league, started by Michael Richerson, is that it gives these wonderful people a way to participate in an activity that they might otherwise be missing out on. It's a sad fact that people with special needs often miss out on things like sports because of their disability. Special Needs Athletics not only gives the players the chance to play sports, but it also gives them and the volunteers something to look forward to each week.

SNA is currently raising money to fund a synthetic rubber field that will be much safer for the players. If you're interested in knowing how you can help, feel free to send me an email at

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