Easter Seals partners with the city of Pelham to create special needs baseball teams

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, November 5, 2009

Easter Seals and the Pelham Parks and Recreation Department are joining together to give special needs children another recreational outlet.

In the spring, the parks department will have a new special needs baseball league for ages 5-18.

A few weeks ago, Easter Seals Director of Marketing and Development Kelli Keith approached Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall and Mayor Don Murphy about creating the league.

Crandall, Keith and Easter Seals Executive Director Lori Senn even went to the Mobile-Pensacola area to observe other special needs leagues, such as the Challenger league.

Although the new league is in the beginning stages, Crandall said he expects to field one or two teams, and those teams will play each other and other special needs teams around the area, including Oak Mountain.

Regardless of who the teams play, Crandall said the main mission is to have fun.

“What we’re trying to do is provide a place and a venue to have these kids come out and play just like everybody else,” Crandall said.

Murphy said he expects the league will be a big hit for the community.

“I’m all charged up about it,” Murphy said. “It’s our responsibility to do things like this. I’m looking forward to being a volunteer.”

The league will utilize volunteers, parents and friends as each player will have a “buddy” on the field with them at all times to assist whenever it’s needed.

“We want to try to make this fun, play some baseball and have some activity,” Crandall said.

If all goes well, Crandall said he hopes to expand the program in the to other sports in the future, including tennis.

“I think it’s going to be great for the community,” Crandall said.