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New Challenger Division giving hope to kids

Posted at 7:14 AM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 08:52:43-05

TULSA — Take me out to the ballgame because Tulsa Little League has two little sluggers bringing a new face to Tulsa baseball.

"I get teary eyed thinking about it because I think he's going to be good at this," Volunteer mom Erin Ramsey said. "Honestly probably not, but do I think he'll get better? Of course."

Meet Jack and Blake who are both five-years-old and both have been diagnosed with non-verbal autism.

"I think a lot of times people don't consider us," Ramsey said. "I would say as a special needs parent we live in our own world and a lot of the times we are isolated."

The need for inclusion was recognized by Tulsa Little League baseball so that kids with talents like Blake and Jack could show off their skills in a safe setting through the Challenger Division.

"For my son its something he likes to play at home but there just wasn't anything that he would fit into that would be a regular league, so he definitely needed something special that would cater to him," Volunteer mom Tina Williams said.

The league hasn't started yet, but the itch to get playing has already begun, hence the makeshift field in Jack's living room.

In the meantime, these athletes are looking for more kids like them to join the team.

"Our goal is to hit 50, but we will take as many as we can get," Williams said.

The hope is to get enough players on the team to keep the challenger division alive for years to come.

And the coaches are ready to get it started.

"I'm going to spend time with every kid that's on the field and learn all these kids and what they are capable of doing," head coach Steve Ramsey said. "We will work on improving that."

"I just want kids to know that they have an opportunity to play," assistant dad Terry Rathburn said. "Any kid can play baseball even if they just go out there and throw the ball around, run first third, you know, it's fine."

Practice times are flexible and the team accepts players ages 4 to 18 or up to 22 if still enrolled in school.

And while Jack practices his heater, Blake readies his bat.

Both anxious to kick off a league of its own.

Games will take place at La Fortune Park. If you'd like to donate to improve the fields for the kids, you can click here.

To sign up, you can visit this link.

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