|A buzz - and a beep - over blind baseball on Long Island|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 23 June 2007 08:46|
Four teams of blind baseball players turned out Saturday for a Long Island round-robin tournament, playing a version of the national pastime where the ball beeps and the bases buzz.
``This reminds me of when I could see and played in Little League,'' said Ted Fass, founder of the host Long Island Bombers.
The home team was joined by the Pennsylvania Wolfpack, the Chicago Comets and the Boston Renegades at the Hofstra University event - the first beeper ball tournament ever in New York state, according to its organizers.
The crowds at these games don't cheer. Applause and shouting would keep the players from hearing the beeping baseball or running toward the buzzing bases.
The pitchers throw the beeping ball to the plate, where the batter listens to the pitch and takes his cuts.
The bases are different, too. They're soft pylons 100 feet away from home plate. The pylons are at third and first base, and the hitter has the option of running to either one. If the batter reaches the base before a fielder can grab a hit ball, a run is scored. Otherwise, the batter is out.
The Bombers started play with an 8-6 victory over Chicago.
Fass, a 55-year-old Rockville Centre resident, lost his sight to a tumor that affected his optic nerve when he was 11. Nine years ago, he launched the Bombers, an 11-member team that competes against squads from around the country. All the players are blind or visually impaired.