ROANOKE, Va. – “Everyone deserves the chance to play traditional baseball free of judgement.”
24 year old Taylor Duncan is an energetic, zealous lover of baseball who lives in Dallas, Georgia. His love of the game was strong from the days of his youth although he wasn’t always able to play.
“I was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4 where I had a lot of speech issues, sensory issues and anxiety issues,” Duncan said.
But his relentless attitude didn’t keep him off the diamond. A trip to spring training in Florida inspired him to help himself and others.
“I asked my mother who was in the vehicle with me, ‘Why isn’t this opportunity available for others just like myself?’”
Duncan created the Alternative Baseball Organization, a non-profit that gives teens and adults 15 years and older with autism and other disabilities, the chance to get a hit, round the bases and build relationships.
“It isn’t just a baseball program. It isn’t just a baseball team but it’s a baseball experience where you get to form friendships with others just like yourself,” said Duncan.
What started out with just seven players, has blossomed into 30 programs in 14 different states. After receiving national attention from ESPN and the TODAY show, Duncan saw the huge lack of resources these individuals needed for a chance to gain independence.
“We’re going to do our best to find a coach/manager to help us put this in as many places across the country as we possibly can,” said Duncan.
Duncan still resides in and runs the organization from Georgia. But the next region he wants to impact is the Roanoke-Lynchburg market, as they strive to #PowerThruPerceptions.
“When you put aside the perceptions and support us, the best way possible to the maximum potential, the sky is the limit to what can be accomplished,” Duncan said. '
If you have interest in volunteering to help the initiative to start a program here locally, click here.
If you have interest in coaching a team here locally, click here.