OT: Legally blind boy inspired to try baseball.

Submitted by 74polSKA on May 29th, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I saw this linked on Yahoo's trending stories.

Even though I'm a Yankees fan (neg away), I won't claim that Pettitte or the team did anything that I hope any other MLB player or club wouldn't do for this boy.  I was touched by the fact that we never know how seemingly insignificant events (daughter's academic recognition at the game) can lead to life changing experiences.  As a parent, I can't believe the irony that a licensed optometrist and an emergency room doctor would have a son that was born basically blind.  It's also a lesson to never pass up the opportunity to be generous to others, even if it's just with sports tickets!

I still remember having the chance to go on the field of the Yankees' then AAA club the Clippers when I was a young boy after we won our Little League title.  There's just something that gets me when I see a story about a child's life being improved in any way, but especially by sports.  I'm not expressing this very well, but this just really touched me.  Probably nothing to see here but enjoy your day wherever it finds you.

Comments

LSAClassOf2000

May 29th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

I found this to be a very touching story as well, and I wish Andy nothing but the best. It's awesome that his parents are allowing him to experience something like baseball and letting him explore the world on his own terms - in a situation where it seems other parents shut doors, Andy's parents are leaving them open for discovery, and it seems like this is much healthier path for them, but more importanly, for Andy.

MGoCombs

May 29th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I apologize if I am misunderstanding you, but it seems like you are suggesting that his parents should not allow him to try and play baseball because he isn't fit for it. What's the worst that can happen, he fails? I know injury is a possibility, but it seems more like you are concerned with him being bad at it. I think a major problem with our culture/parenting is over-protecting our children from failure. Failure is healthy. Everybody doesn't win in the real world. It's healthy for our children to know that everything they try isn't going to work, and they're not going to be good at it. In fact, they'll probably fail a lot. Teaching them how to respond to those failures is what's important for a parent.

74polSKA

May 29th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

I'm going got assume you are speaking in generalities and not this case in particular, because I think this boy trying indoor t-ball at the YMCA is completely appropriate.  I do agree that parents need to try to be aware of their child's limitations and make appropriate choices. However, we can never be sure in all cases what will be challenging vs dangerous until our kids try.  Some kids (like mine) will even let you know when you need to back off and let them try some things for themselves.  It is definitely a fine line we walk, and it's not fun when they fall down on the wrong side.  My wife and I try to work through the decisions on what's appropriate and then stick with our decision the best we can.

snarling wolverine

May 29th, 2012 at 5:50 PM ^

It's a cute story, but even after reading it I'm not quite clear on how he's going to be able to play.  T-ball, I could see, but how could he possibly hit a pitched ball?

74polSKA

May 29th, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

My take was that the parents are excited that their son has shown so much interest in the sport. They also seem encouraged by the fact that his doctor says that he may be able to drive someday. I have seen blind softball on tv before. The ball beeps and there are ropes down the first and third base lines and a coach stands on second base to help the runners. I don't think Andy will be playing traditional baseball unless his condition improves dramatically.

JillFass

May 30th, 2012 at 11:17 AM ^

I am the mom of the little boy. Few corrections. My husband is an Optician and I am not an ER doctor. We had just an awesome night at the field. I just sent a Thank you to the Thunder because they are a family team.  I never thought I would hear anything more about it. The Thunder loved the story and sent it to the Yankees and the newspaper did an article about it. It has gone worldwide. I am just very happy we are getting the word out there because someone tells you are are not supposed to do something because you are disabled does not mean you can't do it. My boy wants to play ball now. He was never interested in it before. Safety is number one in our house. Playing tball inside will not harm him. We will see when Andy is old enough for regular baseball how that would go. I will not stop him from trying it. If he can awesome, if he can't there is always special needs baseball he can play.

74polSKA

May 30th, 2012 at 11:36 AM ^

I would never have believed you would post on the board!  Sorry for the incorrect career info.  The fact that you didn't seem to be looking for publicity is part of what I found so refreshing about the story.  I'm so glad that Andy has shown interest in baseball.  I can't remember a time before I knew how to play and I've learned so many lessons from the game and sports in general.  You seem like very even keeled parents and I pray that you continue to provide each other support and encouragement.  I admire your attitude about your son's condition and I hope it continues to improve.  Thanks for posting.

JillFass

May 30th, 2012 at 11:56 AM ^

The more we get this out there, the more parents might let their kids try stuff. My son is not blind. he is legally blind. He can see, just not clearly. He can run the bases without any issues once he learns them. A different color ball will help him see it.  We never asked for this. I truly never even though the Thunder would have even read my Thank you  note. And we certainly did not expect it to explode like this. It was just a shock when the Yankees called us. And now this has gone worldwide. People with albinism have that evil sterotype from movies and books My son is not evil and any of his friends from the albinism community. I know no one has said this here , but it has been said elsewhere.

Thank out for getting the story out there!

Jill

74polSKA

May 30th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

We generally pride ourselves on conducting a higher class of sports conversation on this blog.  I'm sorry that other sites have not been as respectful.  It's great that more people will learn about albinism because of your son's story but I'm sure that the extra attention will be distracting at times.  Congratulate your daughter on her academic award.  Without her hard school work, your family wouldn't have this chance to inspire other children like Andy all over the world.  I know you didn't ask for any of this, but I'm glad that it has happened for you.