Opening day of Challenger Division gives all athletes a chance to play

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago May 08, 2016 May 8, 2016 Sunday, May 08 2016 Sunday, May 08, 2016 5:02:00 AM CDT in News
By: Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA — This week, mid-Missouri athletes met for opening day of Daniel Boone Little League's Challenger Division.

On Thursday, adult players gathered at the Columbia Insurance Group's Sports Park for their first game of the new season. The athletes were sorted into two teams - one team wearing Cardinal red, and the other wearing Royal blue.

DBLL President Tony Redlinger told KOMU 8 the Challenger Division is about giving every athlete the chance to play.

"It's designed for players with disabilities," Redlinger said. "Either physical disabilities or mental disabilities, they just come out, and they get to play the game of baseball."

Patrick Myers played second base for the Cardinals on Thursday. He said for him, the Challenger Division gives him the opportunity to play the game he loved for his entire life. 

"I played little league when I was a kid, and I've always been into baseball," Myers said.

During the game, Patrick slugged the ball deep into center field for a home run. As he rounded the bases, he was congratulated by members of his own team, as well as his opponents.

Redlinger said these games allow for athletes, and their loved ones, to have some fun with "America's pastime."

"We get player buddies that come with them," Redlinger said. "So they can help players round the field, help them run bases, help them hit the ball, help them field the ball... it's a pretty good experience for everybody, really!"

The Challenger Division hosts a league for both children and adults. Redlinger said the children's division is designed for athletes ages 4-18, and the adult division for ages 18 and up.

When the adult athletes took the field on Thursday, there was quite a spread in ages among the players.

"For our adult division, we're usually looking at somewhere in the ballpark of 18 to 55 years old," Redlinger said. "I think this year we have a 68-year-old!"

Michael Pitts played first base for the Cardinals team on Thursday. He told KOMU 8 he first started playing in the Challenger Division last year. He said he had so much fun, he came back for another season.

Although playing baseball is fun, the Challenger Division displays a much more meaningful message.

"[People] need to support people with disabilities," Pitts said. "There's people with disabilities that can't take care of themselves, and people have to take care of them."

Pitts said people need to understand there are many different disabilities, and each situation is unique.

"There's some people that live in a wheelchair," Pitts said. "I'm not in a wheelchair, but I'm high functioning. I can take care of myself."

One parent at Thursday's game told KOMU 8 News he moved to Columbia a few years ago. He said mid-Missourians are much more accepting and understanding toward people with autism. He said he has three sons who are autistic, and they are treated much better here than they were in St. Louis.

Redlinger said DBLL is doing its part to hosts athletic programs for players of all abilities.

"If you're four years old, and you want to play tee ball, or you're 68 years old and you want to play in our challenger league, we have something out here for everybody," Redlinger said.

To learn more about the Challenger Division, you can visit DBLL's website.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Fulton Medical Center announced the hospital will be closing no later than September 22 and the announcement comes... More >>
24 minutes ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
ARNOLD (AP) — Investigators said a motorist who died after a shootout with police along a busy Missouri interstate had... More >>
1 hour ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More than 28,000 people in the Kansas City metro area remain without power after weekend storms... More >>
1 hour ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two parents are dead and one child in stable condition after a carbon monoxide poisoning incident that... More >>
1 hour ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 4:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri is partnering with a Columbia-based company to fight a familiar condition in cancer patients.... More >>
2 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
Golf, softball, walking the dog… being in the sun means that we need to be diligent about protecting our skin.... More >>
2 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Police Department is looking at whether more training is necessary after an off-duty... More >>
3 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:33:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Some Democratic Missouri lawmakers are reviving efforts to prevent cuts to in-home and nursing care for... More >>
3 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 2:18:31 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police detectives arrested a man Sunday night after detectives connected him to a weekend shooting that left one... More >>
3 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 1:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A petition to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," was delivered to Sen. Roy Blunt’s... More >>
4 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 1:29:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A central Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to federal charges for defrauding her employer. Prosecutors... More >>
5 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:57:00 AM CDT in News
SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say one person has been flown to a hospital in serious condition and six... More >>
6 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:20:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 10-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head was... More >>
6 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM CDT in News
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man has drowned in the Lake of the Ozarks after jumping off... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:26:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man is charged with attacking four homeless people with a hammer as they slept in... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:22:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators are returning to the Capitol for a special session on abortion legislation. ... More >>
7 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 10:16:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON — The Fulton Fire Department is investigating the cause of a house fire on Nichols Street early Monday. ... More >>
8 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 9:26:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a taxi driver has fatally shot a passenger in his cab on Interstate 70... More >>
9 hours ago July 24, 2017 Jul 24, 2017 Monday, July 24 2017 Monday, July 24, 2017 8:03:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
6pm 87°
7pm 85°
8pm 82°
9pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Midnight, Texas
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld