What You Need To Know
- A new sports league coming to Tampa
- The Alternative Baseball Organization caters to players with special needs
- The league is now represented in 12 states and will soon expand into 33 states
Nick Szczybor plays for the Orlando chapter of the organization.
“A lot of times in my life definitely when I was in school, I didn’t feel included,” Szczybor said.
At 27 Nick Seebor is one of the oldest players of the Alternative Baseball Organization. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and says the team is a safe space for him to grow socially, physically and professionally.
“We don’t discriminate in this league, we don’t tell anyone that they can’t be themselves,” he added.
CEO Taylor Duncan created the organization Back in 2016 to defy perceptions of playing sports with a disability.
“We want to break that barrier and many of us try every single day to power through those pre-existing perceptions,” Duncan said.
The Alternative Baseball Organization is giving teens and adults with autism an opportunity to play using professional league rules. Duncan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4.
“It was all about including others just like myself who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to be included in something like this in traditional sports,” he said.
The league is now represented in 12 states and will soon expand into 33 states. Teams are also being launched in Tampa, Lakeland, Bradenton, and New Port Richey.
The non-profit provides all of the necessary equipment and gear for their teams.
Duncan says opportunities for growth for those on the spectrum is lacking with such programs gradually decreasing as the disabled grow older.
“There’s no where even near enough services that could help those who continue in their path towards independence that is a huge issue,” said Duncan. “If something happens to their parents tomorrow what are they going to do? ”
A newly apointed manager for the tampa league is recruiting players as well as volunteers. Post -pandemic baseball games are expected to begin between Summer and Fall of 2021.
To learn more, click here.