Beep Ball shows just how much Americans love their favorite past - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Beep Ball shows just how much Americans love their favorite pastime

Posted: Updated:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Michael Lewis believes in baseball. But he doesn't keep his eye on the ball. He listens to every play in a game that reminds us why they say baseball is America's favorite pastime

“You know it's like when I get in that batter's box and when I hit the ball, there's nothing else in the world,” Lewis says.

He says every part of every game is perfection. “I love this sport,” he says.

Lewis can describe every aspect of the game perfectly. He takes you there, from what it takes to get ready to the satisfying sound the bat makes when you catch the ball just right. It's like the sport courses through his veins.

“It's a great rush,” Lewis says.

His words are a bit of a wonder though, because Lewis is describing a game he's never seen.

“[I was] born legally blind,” Lewis explains.

He doesn't play baseball, he plays Beep Ball. It's baseball with a twist.

The game came about in the 1960. It's baseball with a series of modifications for the visually impaired, which opened the sport to a different kind of athlete.

In this league, some athletes are partially blind and others can't see at all. So everyone wears a blindfold to level the playing field.

Last fall David Wickstrom dreamed of creating the Beep Baseball Kentucky non-profit, because the Commonwealth didn't have a league and athletes like Michael were driving all the way to Indianapolis just to compete.

“I quit my job and my mom freaked out,” Wickstrom said.

51 teams have signed up for the first season, which starts next month.

Wickstrom scored a $700,000 grant and leaders are breaking ground in Frankfort on what will be the first blind baseball field in the world. The field is being built on a property next to the Panther Athletic Complex off Old Lawrenceburg road in Frankfort.

“This is huge,” Wickstrom said. “You always dream of living a life to make a difference in other people and changing someone else's life serving others.”

“Being able to stay close to home and play just blows my mind,” Lewis attests.

They say love is blind and Michael Lewis reminds us just how much America loves its favorite pastime.

“I am a true athlete. I work on this all year round,” Lewis says.

Michael Lewis played on a team that took 2nd in the Beep Baseball world series in Michigan just last week.

He plans to play on both a Kentucky team and his Indianapolis-area team next season.

46 of the 51 Beep Baseball teams in Kentucky are in the Louisville area. Most of them are made up of wounded soldiers.

The non-profit organization behind the league not only organizes games, it helped secure the $700,000 grant to help these athletes find jobs.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.