Anna

Effort to Build Alternative Baseball League in North Texas

Anna is the first city in North Texas to have an Alternative Baseball Organization team for players with autism and other developmental delays

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Baseball is America's pastime, but traditional leagues aren't for everyone.

"I mean, we call it 'America's pastime' because if it's America's pastime, everybody should be able to enjoy it," Alternative Baseball Organization Commissioner/Director Taylor Duncan said. "There's so many stigmas of what one with autism can and cannot accomplish, and we're here to bust every last one of those stigmas!"

Duncan, who is autistic, started the Alternative Baseball Organization in Georgia. He is trying to build on it in North Texas, where a team recently formed in the Collin County city of Anna.

"I just like to play baseball, and making friends," Deric Johnson said. 21-year-old Johnson is autistic. He is one of the players on Anna's new team.

"There's times where I've cried for joy... just to see him come to me and be like, 'Is it baseball time?'," Johnson's mother, Jamie Johnson Moody said.

Johnson Moody coaches her son's team. For her players, baseball is about more than hits, runs, and errors.

"They're talking about baseball. They're talking about NASCAR," Johnson Moody said. "They're able to keep a conversation going."

Alternative Baseball is open to anyone 15 and older with developmental delays.

"We push them past their perceived boundaries," Duncan said. "A lot of them look back and go, 'Wow, I can really do this!'."

The Alternative Baseball Organization is hoping to recruit players, coaches, and managers in other North Texas cities, so the Anna team doesn't have to travel so far to play games. You can find more information here.

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