Tag Archives: blind

Blind Athlete Hits Home Run With Beep Baseball

Consumer Mike Jackson poses with his mother


Mike Jackson and Vicky Norwood

First impression of Mike Jackson is that he is athletic. Second glance sees the white cane in his hand. Mike is an athlete who played semi-pro basketball and football prior to the loss of his sight three years ago. Within weeks of connecting with The IC as he came to terms with his blindness, staff and peers recruited Mike to play his first game of recreational beep baseball. Fast forward three years and Mike has just returned from helping the Colorado Storm team take home 6th place in the Beep Baseball World Series.

“It was exciting to see thousands of visually impaired athletes playing a sport as if we were normal athletes,” says Mike. “They actually looked at me as a person with special abilities instead of a person without [certain] abilities.” Being seen again as an athlete instead of a blind person is “what I learned from The Independence Center—that there’s more to life than just being disabled.”

Mike is now bringing the game to children at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. Beep baseball enables them to experience team sport. He figures they are learning, “if I can get through this, my teammate can get through this. Other people can get through this. . . . Those kids should never feel that their life is over because they have one disability. That’s what my whole purpose is [in coaching].” ~ JT

10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Beep Baseball

  • There are over 30 officially registered teams, according to the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA)
  • The beeping ball used to play the sport was created in 1964 by Charles Fairbanks.
  • The game is only 6 innings long, not 9 like the traditional game of baseball, but can go in to extra innings if need be.
  • There have been only 5 documented cases of a hit ball being caught in the air during a game.
  • Runs are scored by the player making it to the base before the ball is fielded.
  • The pitcher and catcher are both sighted individuals.
  • Rather than 9 men on the field, there are 6 players.
  • The World Series for Beep Baseball is in Rochester, Minnesota for 2014, but it’s been hosted in Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago and even Denver, Colorado.
  • There are over 20 players in the NBBA Hall of Fame, dating back to 1999.
  • A defensive player does not throw the ball to another player to record an out. Outs are earned by fielding the ball before the runner reaches the base.

America’s Past Time: Adapted

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive SportsAdaptive sports are full of many inspirational stories. While some may go unheard or unseen, The Independence Center wants to share as many stories that inspire and motivate individuals with disabilities as possible. We’ve highlighted the world of sled hockey, and now we are shining the light on beep baseball.

Beep baseball, named for the beeping sound the ball makes, is an adaptive sport specifically created with visually impaired individuals in mind. This adapted version on America’s pastime showcases the athleticism, drive and determination that players possess. The game was created in 1964 and has continued to evolve and grow tremendously.

In this version of the game, you score a run by reaching a base before the opposing team’s outfielders pick up the ball. The infielders, at first and third, guard bases that look like blue foam pillars, while the pitcher, who has vision, is on your own team.

While the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) has nearly 30 teams officially registered, the sport is still widely unknown in most communities. Michael Jackson, a client of The Independence Center, gave the sport a voice, along with the low-vision community, in The IC’s latest commercial. Through this commercial Michael’s story and the opportunities Beep Baseball offers will be shared and inspire visually impaired individually to follow their dreams and find their inner athlete.

Stay tuned to view The IC’s Beep Baseball commercial soon!

Learn more about Beep Baseball here.

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