Alternative Baseball

The Alternative Baseball Organization, which helps people with autism and other disabilities enjoy the game, will be coming to Loganville in 2021,

My inbox, like my television screen, has been a cesspool of political back-and-forth over how our Senate candidates are the worst people ever to live.

So it was nice to a have a bit of good news in there Monday morning: news of a new baseball league coming to Walton County.

The Alternative Baseball Organization hopes to begin play in Loganville sometime next year, the group’s commissioner, Taylor Duncan, said.

Taylor, 25, has autism. He told me the group is a 501(c)(3) that works to give an authentic baseball experience to people 15 and older, even if they have autism and other disabilities, to help them gain social and physical skills for success.

“When I was much younger, I had speech issues, anxiety issues and more that came with having autism,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t able to participate in competitive sports due to the developmental delays, in addition to social stigma (preconceived ideas) from those who think what one with autism can and cannot accomplish.

“With the help of my mom, teachers, mentors and coaches who believed in me, I’ve gotten to where I am today in my life: To live with the goal to inspire, raise awareness and acceptance for autism and special needs globally through the sport of baseball.”

Taylor lives in Dallas, Georgia, but said the ABO has clubs in 33 states, including several areas in metro Atlanta.

Players can come from any level of experience and will follow major league rules.

“As many with autism graduate from high school in many areas, services plateau,” Taylor said.

“In a lot of suburban and rural areas, there are no services for those to continue their path toward independence. Many travel to find the limited services which may or may not be available to their specific needs.

“Realizing a lack of general incentive and opportunities for those on the spectrum, I started this organization to give others on the spectrum/(with) special needs the opportunity to be accepted for who they are and to be encouraged to be the best they can be!”

To get involved, visit alternativebaseball.org and fill out the form for playing, volunteering or coaching.

And thank you for what you’ll be doing to make 2021 a little brighter for someone.

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