A national baseball organization designed for adults with autism is working to add a team in the Oklahoma City metro.
Alternative Baseball league founder Taylor Duncan said this program gives people who might have been denied certain opportunities a second chance.
“It’s important to give them the same opportunity to play the same rule structure as we grew up watching on television,” Duncan said. “As the same opportunity as everyone else is able to participate in, why can’t we get in on that same opportunity?”
Duncan decided to start Alternative Baseball five years ago when he noticed a lack of programs for adults with disabilities.
“It isn't just an Oklahoma City problem or a rural problem. It's everywhere,” Duncan said. “If there are nowhere near enough services to help those continue their path towards independence, then think of what it's going to be like 20 to 30 years down the line and something happens to their parents. There's going to be another epidemic and it going to worsen the overall perception even more because we're going to be perceived as people who can't even take care of ourselves.”
Duncan said the league works with all players, regardless of skill level. In return, the players have an opportunity to grow physical and social skills in a judgement-free environment.
“It gives them an opportunity to form friendships with others like themselves,” Duncan said. “It gives them an opportunity to work on and build up their teamwork skills and learn how to work together as a team. It helps them develop leadership skills.”
Alternative Baseball has 80 teams in 33 states. One of those teams is in Duncan.
Duncan does not know when a new team will be coming to the OKC metro. He's still looking for coaches, managers and players to start the new team.
For more information on how to join the organization, click here.