One national organization is hoping to spread some joy for residents in the Delta.
America's past time continues to bring people together. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the organization, Alternative Baseball, is hoping to start a team in the Delta in the spring of 2021.
"We want to provide this authentic baseball experience for teens and adults ages 15 years of age and older with autism and other disabilities. For physical and social skills, enrichment in life on and off the diamond. And we want to provide them with an environment they're accepted for who they are and encouraged to be the best they can be, and instill confidence, of course. Fulfill dreams and life on and off the baseball diamond."
Taylor Duncan, the founder of Alternative Baseball, says no experience or specific skill levels are required, but, first things first, they need a coach manager to start a program in the Delta.
"We are in need of a coach manager the biggest, basically. We need to find that coach manager before we can move forward with any of the plans and bring it to the Delta," Duncan said.
This program hits home for Duncan. At four years old he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He believes this program will help with life skills, saying he wanted to do something for others.
"Growing up I didn't have the same opportunities to play traditional sports as everyone else because of the social stigma that I faced. The negative perceptions and limitations of what one with autism can and cannot accomplish. I hated that, but its inspired me to work hard for all my opportunities. Work hard to create all my opportunities," Duncan said.
Duncan says that the program does not only teach baseball skills, but life skills as well.
"From the physical side of it, the mechanic side of it, learning how to work together as a team, learning how to communicate with your teammates. Because when you hold down a job, when you're in employment, you got to be able to communicate with your co workers, of course, and we'll work together with that. And so, the game of baseball is a fun way to really experiment with life's various different situations," Duncan said.
To apply for the coach position or more information on teams, email email@example.com.
Alternative baseball teams are all over the nation. In Mississippi, two new teams have developed near Jackson and one new team has been created near Meridian.