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

10 months 2 weeks 17 hours 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
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities say a pedestrian has been killed in a hit-and-run crash in St. Louis County. ... More >>
23 minutes ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:45:51 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Webster University in St. Louis is mourning the death of an adjunct professor who collapsed during... More >>
30 minutes ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:38:45 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - New software will make infrastructure projects in Jefferson City easier to manage, more cost effective and more... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:31:23 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A federal grand jury indicted a Columbia man today for producing and distributing child pornography. Sergio... More >>
9 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 9:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City Supplier Diversity Program and Shelter Insurance teamed up to host the Building Inclusive Partnership’s EXPO for... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of people gathered at the ARC to voice their concerns over Governor Eric Greitens proposed budget cuts... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT in News
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been ordered to spend a quarter century in Illinois prison for killing... More >>
13 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:13:19 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A trial is underway in suburban St. Louis in the case of a mother accused of poisoning... More >>
13 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:10:12 PM CDT in News
OWENSVILLE (AP) — Authorities in east-central Missouri's Gasconade County say they're investigating as a homicide the death of a person... More >>
14 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:08:19 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - A middle school student was turned over to the Missouri Division of Youth Services Wednesday after Mexico Public... More >>
14 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 4:58:13 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation held a public hearing in Columbia Wednesday to hear feedback on ways to improve services... More >>
15 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Secretary of State’s office has implemented an initiative called “ Show It 2 Vote, ” to educate... More >>
15 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Southeastern Conference and Mizzou athletics are mimicking the National Football League and its initiative to keep game... More >>
16 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - The president of the East Campus Majority Housing Association said Wednesday his group "lost" Monday night with the... More >>
16 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are now investigating a Tuesday night shooting as a homicide. Shamya Nichole Brimmage died Wednesday from... More >>
17 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:46:00 PM CDT in News
GLASGOW – The coroner’s inquest for Kenny Suttner brought questions about the potential liability for employers and schools in... More >>
17 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The husband of a woman whose body was found near a St. Louis freeway two days... More >>
18 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 12:27:18 PM CDT in News
ST. GEORGE (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed after a sport utility vehicle's driver who was headed... More >>
20 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:01:06 AM CDT in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
7am 44°
8am 43°
9am 43°
10am 44°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
7:00a
Cheaters
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld