St. Petersburg, Florida – It's the time of year when many parents are signing up their kids for "fall ball," and there's a league in Temple Terrace that makes sure everyone can get in the game. Buddy Baseball is designed for children with special needs.
"A lot of time these children don't get a chance to play on a regular team, but now they can, because there's a buddy there to help them," explains Russ Oberbroeckling, who founded the league seven years ago.
Children with various mental and physical challenges can participate. "You name it, we've seen it," says Oberbroeckling.
Volunteer buddies help them bat and run the bases. Participants range in age from 8 to 22 and come from throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Ka'Rhon Dorsey, 20, has played for several years. In halting speech, he says he likes to hit and run. "I hit a home run. I hit the ball with the bat," he says, gesturing with his hands.
But players aren't the only ones having fun at the weekly games. Oberbroeckling says the volunteer buddies and parents also have a blast. "Everyone has a smile," he says.
For more information you can check out this website.