Baseball Organization Gives Kids With Special Needs A League Of Their Own | TODAY


RIGHT HERE ON NBC. WE GET STARTED AT 7:00 P.M. WE GET STARTED AT 7:00 P.M. EASTERN. EASTERN.>>WE MOVE FROM FOOTBALL TO>>WE MOVE FROM FOOTBALL TO BASEBALL. BASEBALL. THIS IS THE BEST TOMB OF THE THIS IS THE BEST TOMB OF THE YEAR, THE MAJOR LEAGUE YEAR, THE MAJOR LEAGUE POSTSEASON IS UNDERWAY. POSTSEASON IS UNDERWAY.>>THERE IS ANOTHER LEAGUE>>THERE IS ANOTHER LEAGUE PLAYING RIGHT NOW WITH SOME OF PLAYING RIGHT NOW WITH SOME OF THE MOST DEVOTED PLAYERS THAT THE MOST DEVOTED PLAYERS THAT YOU WILL EVER MEET YOU. YOU WILL EVER MEET YOU.>>WON’T FIND THEM IN MASSIVE>>WON’T FIND THEM IN MASSIVE STADIUMS. STADIUMS. WHAT YOU WILL FIND IS A PASSION WHAT YOU WILL FIND IS A PASSION FOR THE GAME THAT MATCHES ANYONE FOR THE GAME THAT MATCHES ANYONE IN THE BIG LESION. IN THE BIG LESION. IT WAS ALL STARTED BY ONE YOUNG IT WAS ALL STARTED BY ONE YOUNG MAN WHO JUST WANTED TO PLAY MAN WHO JUST WANTED TO PLAY BALL. BALL. ♪ ♪ THEY GATHER ON A DUSTY BALL THEY GATHER ON A DUSTY BALL FIELD, BAKING IN THE GEORGIA FIELD, BAKING IN THE GEORGIA SUN. SUN. THERE ARE HITS. THERE ARE HITS. RUNS. RUNS. DEFINITELY SOME ERRORS. DEFINITELY SOME ERRORS. BUT WHAT SETS THIS GAME APART IS BUT WHAT SETS THIS GAME APART IS WHAT THE PLAYERS BRING TO IT. WHAT THE PLAYERS BRING TO IT. MOST OF THE PLAYERS HAVE SPECIAL MOST OF THE PLAYERS HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS. NEEDS.>>I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM>>I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM AT THE AGE OF 4. AT THE AGE OF 4. SPEECH ISSUES, SENSORY ISSUES, SPEECH ISSUES, SENSORY ISSUES, ANXIETY ISSUES. ANXIETY ISSUES.>>THAT’S TAYLOR DUNCAN.>>THAT’S TAYLOR DUNCAN. HE’S 22. HE’S 22. HE’S NOT JUST A PLAYER. HE’S NOT JUST A PLAYER. HE’S THE COACH. HE’S THE COACH. HE’S THE COMMISSIONER AND OH, HE HE’S THE COMMISSIONER AND OH, HE IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF THE IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF THE ALTERNATIVE BASEBALL COMMISSION. ALTERNATIVE BASEBALL COMMISSION.>>WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE>>WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME? WITH THE GAME?>>I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT AROUND>>I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT AROUND THE TIME THAT I WAS 4 AND 5. THE TIME THAT I WAS 4 AND 5.>>Reporter: TAYLOR WANTED TO>>Reporter: TAYLOR WANTED TO PLAY BALL BUT SOME COACH WAS NOT PLAY BALL BUT SOME COACH WAS NOT LET HIM. LET HIM.>>IT WAS BASICALLY WIN AT ALL>>IT WAS BASICALLY WIN AT ALL COSTS. COSTS. ONCE HE KNEW THAT I HAD AUTISM, ONCE HE KNEW THAT I HAD AUTISM, HE BASICALLY WANTED ME TO QUIT HE BASICALLY WANTED ME TO QUIT THE TEAM. THE TEAM.>>Reporter: MOST PEOPLE WOULD>>Reporter: MOST PEOPLE WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP, BUT TAYLOR ISN’T HAVE GIVEN UP, BUT TAYLOR ISN’T MOST PEOPLE. MOST PEOPLE. HE DECIDED TO START HIS OWN HE DECIDED TO START HIS OWN TEAM. TEAM. THEN HE CREATED HIS OWN LEAGUE THEN HE CREATED HIS OWN LEAGUE FOR PLAYERS LIKE HIM. FOR PLAYERS LIKE HIM.>>IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THIS IS>>IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST BASEBALL. ABOUT MORE THAN JUST BASEBALL.>>OF COURSE IT’S MORE THAN JUST>>OF COURSE IT’S MORE THAN JUST THE SPORT OF BASEBALL ITSELF, THE SPORT OF BASEBALL ITSELF, AMERICA’S PASTTIME. AMERICA’S PASTTIME. BUT IT CAN GROW CHARACTER. BUT IT CAN GROW CHARACTER. IT CAN GROW SOCIAL SKILLS. IT CAN GROW SOCIAL SKILLS. THE UNPREDICT. THE UNPREDICT. OF THE SPORT ITSELF CAN TEACH OF THE SPORT ITSELF CAN TEACH THESE PEOPLE HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE HOW TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN SITUATIONS IN REAL LIFE. CERTAIN SITUATIONS IN REAL LIFE.>>JIMMY YOUNG HAD NO CONNECTION>>JIMMY YOUNG HAD NO CONNECTION TO THE SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY TO THE SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY WHEN HE WAS ASKED TO PLAY A WHEN HE WAS ASKED TO PLAY A PICKUP GAME WITH TAYLOR’S TEAM. PICKUP GAME WITH TAYLOR’S TEAM. NOW HE COACHES ONE OF THE OTHER NOW HE COACHES ONE OF THE OTHER TEAMS IN THIS GROWING LEAGUE. TEAMS IN THIS GROWING LEAGUE.>>WHEN THEY FIRST CAME, WE>>WHEN THEY FIRST CAME, WE STARTED THEM OFF HITTING ON A STARTED THEM OFF HITTING ON A TEE. TEE. NOW WE CAN PITCH THEM OVERHAND. NOW WE CAN PITCH THEM OVERHAND. WE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO THROW WE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO THROW THEM 70 OR 80 MILES AN HOUR BUT THEM 70 OR 80 MILES AN HOUR BUT WE CAN THROW THEM OVERHAND AND WE CAN THROW THEM OVERHAND AND THEY CAN HIT THE BALL. THEY CAN HIT THE BALL.>>THE VOLUNTEERS AND PARENTS>>THE VOLUNTEERS AND PARENTS GET JUST AS MUCH OUT OF IT AS GET JUST AS MUCH OUT OF IT AS THE PLAYERS. THE PLAYERS. JUST ASK SCOTT ARNOLD WHO BRINGS JUST ASK SCOTT ARNOLD WHO BRINGS HIS SON TYLER. HIS SON TYLER.>>ALL OF THESE KIDS ARE LIKE>>ALL OF THESE KIDS ARE LIKE SONS TO ME. SONS TO ME. THAT’S WHAT GETS HERE. THAT’S WHAT GETS HERE.>>WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART?>>WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART?>>HITTING AND PITCHING.>>HITTING AND PITCHING.>>I HEAR YOU ARE A PRETTY GOOD>>I HEAR YOU ARE A PRETTY GOOD PITCHER. PITCHER.>>UH-HUH, YEAH.>>UH-HUH, YEAH.>>TAYLOR WILL BE THE FIRST TO>>TAYLOR WILL BE THE FIRST TO TELL YOU THAT NONE OF THIS WOULD TELL YOU THAT NONE OF THIS WOULD BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE LOVE AND BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE LOVE AND SUPPORT OF HIS MOM, CINDY. SUPPORT OF HIS MOM, CINDY. HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT REARING A HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT REARING A CHILD WHO HAS AUTISM? CHILD WHO HAS AUTISM?>>IT’S BEEN HARD.>>IT’S BEEN HARD. IT’S BEEN REALLY HARD. IT’S BEEN REALLY HARD. HIS DAD AND I SEPARATED WHEN — HIS DAD AND I SEPARATED WHEN — BEFORE HE WAS DIAGNOSED AT THE BEFORE HE WAS DIAGNOSED AT THE AGE OF 4. AGE OF 4. I DEVOTED LIFE TO HIM. I DEVOTED LIFE TO HIM. YOU KNOW? YOU KNOW? IT JUST HAD TO BE THAT WAY. IT JUST HAD TO BE THAT WAY.>>IT SEEMS TO BE PAYING OFF,>>IT SEEMS TO BE PAYING OFF, THOUGH? THOUGH?>>IT IS PAYING OFF.>>IT IS PAYING OFF. IT’S REMARKABLE TO ME TO THINK IT’S REMARKABLE TO ME TO THINK WHERE HE HAS COME FROM AND WHERE WHERE HE HAS COME FROM AND WHERE HE’S AT. HE’S AT.>>YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM>>YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM A KID THAT — A KID THAT –>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>– COULDN’T GET PICKED UP BY>>– COULDN’T GET PICKED UP BY A LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM. A LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM.>>A LOT OF TIMES IN MY LIFE I>>A LOT OF TIMES IN MY LIFE I HAVE BEEN TOLD NO YOU CAN’T DO HAVE BEEN TOLD NO YOU CAN’T DO THIS, NO YOU ARE NOT ABLE, NO IT THIS, NO YOU ARE NOT ABLE, NO IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. IS NOT POSSIBLE. BUT I CAN TELL YOU WITH THE BUT I CAN TELL YOU WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT AND THE RIGHT RIGHT SUPPORT AND THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES YOU CAN REALLY GO OPPORTUNITIES YOU CAN REALLY GO ANYWHERE. ANYWHERE.>>WHERE TAYLOR IS HAPPIEST IS>>WHERE TAYLOR IS HAPPIEST IS ON THE BASEBALL DIAMOND. ON THE BASEBALL DIAMOND. IT’S NO WON DOCTOR THAT WHEN YOU IT’S NO WON DOCTOR THAT WHEN YOU ROUND THE BASES YOU END UP AT A ROUND THE BASES YOU END UP AT A PLACE CALLED HOME. PLACE CALLED HOME. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ONE OF THOSE HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ONE OF THOSE COACHES THAT WOULDN’T LET YOU COACHES THAT WOULDN’T LET YOU PLAY BACK IN THE DAY? PLAY BACK IN THE DAY?>>NO BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE>>NO BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEIR FACE WHEN THEY SEE ME ON THEIR FACE WHEN THEY SEE ME ON THE “TODAY” SHOW. THE “TODAY” SHOW.>>COOL KID.>>COOL KID. ONE OF THE COOLEST KIDS I HAVE ONE OF THE COOLEST KIDS I HAVE MET IN A WHILE. MET IN A WHILE. THE ALTERNATIVE BASEBALL THE ALTERNATIVE BASEBALL ORGANIZATION NOW HAS TEN TEAMS ORGANIZATION NOW HAS TEN TEAMS MOSTLY IN THE SOUTHEAST. MOSTLY IN THE SOUTHEAST. NEW TEAMS FORMING IN COLORADO NEW TEAMS FORMING IN COLORADO AND NEW JERSEY. AND NEW JERSEY. TAYLOR SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAYLOR SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS SPAN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. THIS SPAN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.>>WE HAVE JUST GIVEN HIM A BIG>>WE HAVE JUST GIVEN HIM A BIG HEADSTART. HEADSTART. I LOVE HIS CONFIDENCE. I LOVE HIS CONFIDENCE. YOU CAN SEE HOW HE BLOSSOMED. YOU CAN SEE HOW HE BLOSSOMED.>>THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT>>THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT BASEBALL THAT REALLY BRINGS BASEBALL THAT REALLY BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER OF IT IS PEOPLE TOGETHER OF IT IS INDIVIDUAL BUT A TEAM SPORT AT INDIVIDUAL BUT A TEAM SPORT AT THE SAME TIME. THE SAME TIME.>>THE KIDS WHO PLAY IT IS>>THE KIDS WHO PLAY IT IS PARENTS TELL ME A LOT OF THEM PARENTS TELL ME A LOT OF THEM LOOK FORWARD TO IT EVERY DAY,

4 thoughts on “Baseball Organization Gives Kids With Special Needs A League Of Their Own | TODAY

  1. This really shows how special needs people like him can succeed in life! Happy #AutismAwarenessDay and Autism awareness month! 😀 #WearBlue PS: I have Autism too

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