Alternative Baseball Brings Unique League to Encinitas

Alternative Baseball “provides an authentic baseball experience for teens and adults with autism and other disabilities for the enrichment of physical and social skills.”

SAN DIEGO – Anyone can play. These three words are precisely what makes baseball so incredibly special. You don’t have to look far to find examples. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is 6’7 “and weighs over 280 pounds, while Houston Astros MVP Jose Altuve is 5’6” and 165 pounds. The two couldn’t be more different, but they both sit at the top of many Major League Baseball rankings.

A native of Georgia, Taylor Duncan embraced and followed the “Anyone Can Play” philosophy. Duncan has created his own league for those who just want to play ball, but haven’t had the chance.

When Duncan was 4 years old, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The developmental condition involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and non-verbal communication, and restricted / repetitive behaviors.

Eventually, Duncan felt compelled to quit competitive sports because coaches believed he was unable to play and some even said he was at risk of injury. This meant that Taylor could no longer play his favorite sport, baseball, at the level he wanted. Taylor didn’t let that frustration hold him back for long. Instead, he created his own league where everyone is welcome.

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Alternative Baseball “provides an authentic baseball experience for teens and adults (aged 15 and over) with autism and other disabilities for the enrichment of physical and social skills in life on and off the field. baseball “.

In an interview with News 8, Duncan said: “A lot of people, I guess, don’t think we could do as much as those who play competitively. But let me tell you what – when we’re in an environment where we are encouraged to be the best they can be and accepted for who we are, we can do just about anything anyone can do.

Alternative baseball follows the rules of Major League Baseball.

Duncan’s league started with a team in a small town outside of Atlanta, but with determination and appearances on platforms like TEDx, The Today Show, and ESPN, alternative baseball has exploded across the country. .

Taylor told News 8 that the league has expanded to over 70 teams in over 30 states with a new club arriving right here in San Diego! With a new manager already at the helm, Alternative Baseball hopes to start playing in the Encinitas / Cardiff region by fall 2021.

He had this message for San Diego interested in participating: “San Diego, we come to you next. Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, we are ready for you! We just have to find the players, the volunteers. We We have to find the ground to be able to practice. We need the support of the community now to make this happen. So what are you waiting for? “

If you’re interested in learning more about alternative baseball, or if you’re interested (or know someone who might be interested) in joining the team heading to San Diego, click here.

WATCH: Alternative Baseball: Making Sport More Inclusive

RELATED: Alternative Baseball Club Seeking New Members To Expand Program In North Carolina

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