Jordan’s 1st baseball game – 2009

Challenger baseball is the best thing to ever happen to kids’ ball if you ask me. And, if I had my way, every single person would come out and watch at least one game in their lifetime. Challenger ball is pure and simple, joyful baseball. You see, these kids wouldn’t play ball if it weren’t for Little League’s Challenger Division. In fact, just tonight, a 15 year old kid suited up in a uniform for the first time in his LIFE and came to the baseball field to slug a couple excellent hits into left field. It nearly brought tears to his mother’s eyes. Or, consider the kid with a walker – uh, Jordan – who hits a ball pitched to him and runs the bases before valiantly crossing home plate a few batters later. Or, the number of kids with Down Syndrome or many other syndromes who are unable to keep up with the level of ball their same-age peers play. And one of my favorite? The completely blind child who uses a specially adapted ball – it beeps – is able to make contact with that ball when it is pitched to him at which time he is guided around the base paths by a sighted helper. These kids are truly inspirational. 

All ages play, all kids hit in each inning, the score doesn’t matter (after all, since everyone hits each inning it just comes down to the number of players a team has as to how many cross home to score!), and competition is out the window. Brain tumor survivors, heart surgery recipients, sight impairments, cognitive delays, physical disabilities, it doesn’t matter. Truly, everyone is accepted at whatever their ability. Thanks, Little League.

Warmed up and ready for his 1st game of the season. Go Admirals!

Jordan is all warmed up and ready for his 1st game of the season. Go Admirals!

Hitting without the aid of the tee - a fairly new skill for Jordan. So proud of him, even if he did just want to be home watching "Bolt"!

Hitting without the aid of the tee - a fairly new skill for Jordan. So proud of him, even if he did just want to be home watching "Bolt"!

Good game, everyone!

Good game, everyone!

It’s very cool to start out the season playing the Pacific Pirates, because they are our ‘parent’ team. It was from this team that our own Alderwood Admirals got its birth. Just a few years ago, these teams were one and the league was just starting up in our area. In the last 5 years though, so many kids have come out to play that additional teams are being formed each year. What fun for all! And Willie even assistant coaches – except for tonight when he stepped into the shoes of the main coach who couldn’t make it. It’s truly a family affair.

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