PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– As sports return, another baseball league will soon be calling central Illinois home.
The Alternative Baseball Organization is a league that gives people ages 15 or older with developmental disabilities the ability to play organized baseball.
Taylor Duncan, commissioner and founder of the league, said he has looked at the area and is hoping to start a league in either Peoria or Bloomington-Normal. Duncan said he started the league to give people like himself a sense of belonging.
“There’s a constant need of more services, more programming, inclusive programming for others like myself who just want to be accepted for who they are and encouraged to be the best we can possibly be,” Duncan said.
Duncan, who was diagnosed with autism at four years old, said upon graduation from high school, there’s a greater need for programs for people with disabilities.
“In a lot of suburban and rural areas, there are no services for those to continue their path toward independence,” Duncan said.
“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/special needs the opportunity to be accepted for who they are and to be encouraged to be the best they can be.”
He said the league is looking for players, coaches and volunteers and hopes to get it started by the spring of 2021 in central Illinois. The league follows Major League Baseball rules including dropped third strike and the use of wooden bats.
Alternative Baseball has leagues starting up in Detroit, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Jersey City, Watertown (NY), Philadelphia, Nashville, Chattanooga, Gastonia, Morresville, Triad (NC) and Cleveland (TN).
Alternative Baseball has more locations that can be found on their website.
The league has been featured on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
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