St. Petersburg, Florida – Stephen Gueterman can't wait for baseball season to start.
The 12-year-old participates in Buddy Baseball. "Because it's fun," he says with a grin.
Buddy Baseball caters to children and young adults with special needs ages 8 to 22. Russ Oberbroeckling, who has a nephew with special needs, started the league in Temple Terrace in 2009.
It's registration time for Buddy Baseball. The league serves children with special needs.
"We have children on the autism spectrum, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, orthopedically challenged, visually impaired, hearing impaired—you name, we've got it," he explains.
Buddies make the non-competitive games possible. Each player is teamed with a buddy for the season to help them throughout the game. "Whether he's batting, running to first base, throwing the ball, being his friend, just making sure that he has a good time and is having a safe time doing it," says Oberbroeckling of the buddy role. Buddies can be boys and girls ages 10 to 18.
While the games are played in Temple Terrace, the league draws players and buddies from throughout the Tampa Bay area. Coaches are also needed. Registration runs through August 25, and you can find out more information by clicking here.