Baseball is for everyone. Kristine Fitzpatrick believes that’s true, which is why she started League of YES, a baseball league for people of all ages with special needs. League of YES hosts games every weekend at fields in Suffolk County and Nassau County in New York, and at a game in late April, Fitzpatrick took a video of an incredible home run celebration.
The video features Billy, who has Down syndrome. He hit a ball off a tee — in these games, every hit is a home run — and took off around the bases with several volunteers cheering Billy on as he ran. When he hit third base, a bunch of volunteers were waiting to give him five as he ran down the line to home. But just before home plate, he stopped and busted out some serious, no-kidding dance moves.
Everyone falling down as he touched home plate was the perfect capper to that epic home run celebration. They might have had a little practice, though. Fitzpatrick told CBS News that Billy had already hit a home run earlier in the game, but after seeing his special home run celebration, she wanted to make sure she caught it on video the second time around.
Fitzpatrick started League of YES in 2010, and in eight years it’s grown from 30 players and 30 volunteers to 300 players and 1,400 volunteers. She told CBS News that having these kinds of activities available to special needs kids is vital to their lives.
“We also want to show the world that our special-needs community needs to have play in their lives,” Fitzpatrick said. “I can tell you story after story of children’s experience of their joy to play on a team and also the confidence they have been building on and off the field.”
Baseball comes in many forms, and it has benefits that go beyond what many normally think of. Baseball is for everyone, and thanks to Billy and League of YES, we can see exactly what that means.
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