Springfield starts special needs baseball league

Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 19:50:32-05

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WTVF) — Special needs kids across Middle Tennessee will have an opportunity to play baseball this spring, courtesy of a new league in Springfield.

The Springfield Parks and Recreation Department is organizing the league which is open to kids of any age from anywhere in the region. Teams will practice once a week beginning in March. Games will take place in April and May at J. Travis Price Park in Springfield. The league is free for all participants.

"We just encourage anybody that’s looking for something like this for their kids, to come out and participate in this program," said Terry Martin, Springfield Parks and Recreation director. "We are excited to move forward."

Andy Smith, an IT systems analyst for the city, had the idea for the league late last year, and said plans came together quickly. Smith's son plans to play on the team, and Smith said he will be the coach.

"He’s excited," said Smith. "He’s pumped that we are going to have a league locally he can participate in."

Smith said the goal of the league is to give kids an opportunity to play a sport they love while working on their baseball skills. He said every player will have a chance to bat and play in the outfield, and there will be no balls, strikes, or outs called during the games.

"Everyone gets a chance to play every position," said Smith. "That's the most important thing."

Martin said the city successfully hosted a special needs fishing rodeo last October and recognized the need for other events for special needs kids. He hoped with the support of volunteers, and baseball players from the local middle and high schools that the league can continue to grow. He said the city would also be open to starting basketball, and soccer leagues in the future, as well.

Registration for the league is underway now. Twelve players have already registered and the city is hoping to have enough participants for two teams. Visit the city's sports league website for more information or to download a registration form.