LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Across the country baseball is considered one of America’s greatest pastimes.
That’s why one Georgia man decided to use his life experiences with autism and his love of the game to help those like him gain confidence on and off the field.
Taylor Duncan says growing up with autism wasn’t easy, “Well I was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. I had speech issues, sensory issues, and anxiety issues growing up. My mother helped me through a lot of those obstacles, but at the same time growing up I faced a lot of social stigma from my peers and coaches who had preconceived ideas as to what one with autism could and could not accomplish. With the help of everyone who’s helped support me, I wanted to pass off what I learned both in and outside of the game to others just like myself.”
And so Duncan founded Alternative Baseball, “Alternative baseball provides the authentic baseball experience for teens and adults ages 15 years of age and older with autism and other disabilities. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be accepted for who they are and encouraged to be the best they can be, to instill confidence to fulfill dreams.”
Alternative Baseball began in Atlanta Georgia in 2016 and began expanding in 2018.
Now it’s expanding into Lake Charles, “In our player pool we have around 300 players across 15 different states and we want to make sure we can replicate the success we’ve had in the greater Atlanta area into Lake Charles. Everywhere we possibly can find a coach, a manager, we want to get something started.”
Duncan says he’s happy that he’s able to use his experience to help others and is thankful to everyone who volunteers for the organization, “I am so thankful for the volunteers that help make these programs go round and most of all the Lord above for blessing me with both the good and the bad experiences to learn from, to able to adapt to. To teach our players how to adapt to hot streaks and cold streaks in sports because we’re going to go through those same things in real life. And that’s what I’m really blessed for.”
Alternative Baseball is currently looking for volunteers who would like to start ABO Teams here in our area. If you are interested in being a coach, umpire, or volunteer you can sign up HERE.