TYLER, Texas (KLTV) — The Tyler Tigers beep baseball team, which was formed in 1994 to welcome people who are blind to active sport, is preparing to compete in the National Beep Baseball Association’s 2022 World Series.
Rosie Reed, the team’s vice president, plays alongside her husband Larry Reed who is the team’s president.
“It helps boost my self-esteem and confidence,” Rosie said.
Reed said that before she knew beep baseball, she was often overlooked in many other sports besides track and field.
“You were always last chosen because people knew your eyes were bad,” Rosie said.
Reed has no vision in her left eye due to bad nerve endings, corneal scarring, and a stigma she has had since birth.
“So with beep baseball, it’s about your athleticism, and it’s not based on what you can see or what you can’t see,” Reed said.
Due to the different vision abilities of each player on the team, blindfolds are worn to give everyone an equal level of difficulty.
“Your pitcher is on your team,” Reed explained. “Your pitcher’s job is to get you to hit the ball, and your pitcher is going to say, ‘Ready, set, ball’ and you swing and you have to run to the base which beeps.”
Unlike traditional baseball, there are only two bases in beep ball which is first and third base.
Sighted volunteers help blind players with equipment, set up defense and make sure they have water when playing outside in high temperatures.
Carlos Black has been part of the team since 2018.
He heard about the beep baseball team through a friend.
“I thought she was telling a joke because she knew I was blind, and then I realized she was serious,” Black said. “I came here for the first time and started doing it. I was thrilled to be part of an organization where people could relate to where I had come from to deal with a lot of blinding stuff,” Black said.
He lost his sight seven years ago due to type 1 diabetes.
“For those watching, don’t count us in because we have disabilities,” Black said. “We are here doing our best and trying to live like everyone else. Don’t count us.
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