SPOKANE, Wash. – It is the season for spring sports, and one team in Spokane is knocking baseball out of the park in a whole new way.
The Spokane Lion Pride is a team of players who are visually impaired. Despite their challenges, this team rises up to them – and conquers them.
The team is a part of the National Beep Baseball Association. How does a blind person play baseball? They listen to the beep. Every time a pitch is thrown, the ball beeps.
Vivian Huschke lost her sight after college. After many surgeries trying to regain her vision, she developed glaucoma.
“It’s like looking through an aquarium that’s really dirty,” she said.
Despite that, it does not stop her or the team. Once they connect with the ball it is off to the race.
They spring to one of two bases that buzz so they can find it. Get to one before the outfielders find the ball and that is a run.
Huschke said this game is more than just a game – its freedom.
“It’s just kind of a sense of exhilaration,” she said. “You hit the ball and connect it kind of gives us a chance to be free out here without canes, dogs, without sighted guides.”
It takes a lot to keep things going financially. Bases alone cost $300 and Lion Pride has had theirs for about five years. If they want to get serious, and they said they definitely do, it is time for an upgrade -- but they will need some help.
“This is Spokane’s team, not just our team,” Huschke said. “We just like to get the community involved as much as possible.”
Richard Terzieff has already stepped up to the plate. He owns a record shop in Spokane and when he heard about the team he wanted to help.
Aside from record sales, for $5 you can buy a Papa Murphy’s coupon book valued at $25. All proceeds are going straight to the team.
“They’re out doing things they want to do,” Terzieff said. “They’re all together.”
The league is not limited to only visually impaired, those with all levels of vision can play. Pitchers and spotters must be sighted which means they are always looking for volunteers.
If you would like more information, please contact Vivian Huschke at 509-263-3281.
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