STORY. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ CHEERS ] ♪>>BEEP BALL HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE 1975. THE FIRST WORLD SERIES WAS IN 1976. IT WAS FOUNDED IN MINNEAPOLIS, St. PAUL, MINNESOTA. CHARLIE FAIRBANKS AND JOHN ROSS. THOSE TWO GUYS HAD A VISION ABOUT BEEP BASEBALL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED, WITH THE BALLS WITH MANY MECHANS IN THEM WITH OLD TELEPHONE PARTS AND THE BALL MAKING A NICE BEEP AND THE BASES MAKING A NICE BUZZ. THE GAME IS PLAYED WITH VISUALLY IMPAIRED ATHLETES, YOUTH AND ADULTS AND THERE’S SIX PLAYERSES AT-BAT, AND THERE’S SIX FIELDERS. THERE’S A DESIGNATED FIELDER AND DESIGNATED HEATER. THEY ARE 10 FEET OFF THE FAIR LINE AND THE BASES ARE RANDOM. THERE’S A BASE OPERATOR THAT DETERMINES WHAT BASE THE BATTER RUNS TO. IT’S LIKE A RACE. IF BATTER GETS TO THE BEEPING RANDOM BASE BEFORE THE FIELDER TRACKS THE BALL, HE SCORES A RUN FOR HIS TEAM. IF THE FIELDERS TRACK THE BALL AND HOLD IT UP OFF THE GROUND, THE BATTER IS OUT. ♪>>THE THUNDER WAS BORN IN JANUARY OF 2000, WHEN WE DECIDED TO JOIN THE NATIONAL BEEP BASEBALL ASSOCIATION IN 2001. WE HAVE A LIST OF WORLD SERIES SINCE 2004. OUR FORTUNES TURNED ONCE WE DECIDED TO GO REALLY YOUNG. OF COURSE, FATHER TIME CATCHES UP WITH YOU. SO WE NEED TO GET YOUNGER AND MORE ATHLETIC. WE WERE THE YOUNGEST TEAM TO EVER START “WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. IT’S WONDERFUL FEELING WHEN INDIAN LIST HAS NOT HAD A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, AND NOW IT’S A WONDERFUL TO BE COACH AND OWNER OF THE TEAM. ♪ ♪ HIT, TAKE A HIT ♪ ♪ WE GOING TO — ♪♪>>I THINK, YOU KNOW, THE SOCIALIZATION, FAMILY, LEADERSHIP, AND JUST BEING ON A TEAM. YOU KNOW? BEING AROUND POSITIVE PEOPLE, HAVING THAT POSITIVE ATTITUDE, AND I THINK THAT CARRIES THEM A LONG WAY IN THEIR LIFE, AND THEIR SCHOOLING AND THEIR JOBS OR WHAT HAVE YOU.>>A LOT OF RUNNING SPORTS FOR THESE GUYS, THERE’S A GUIDEWIRE, YOU KNOW. THAT’S HOW YOU RUN. IT’S NOT LIKE THERE’S A TRACK AND YOU SEE THE LINES AND YOU GO. THEY DON’T HAVE THE TONIGHT TO RUN ALL OUT. YOU DON’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO JUST CUT LOOSE AND RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN, WHICH YOU GET THAT IN BEEP BASEBALL.>>I WAS ALWAYS IN TROUBLE. WITH MY COUSINS RUNNING THE STREETS AND THEN I CAME TO BEEP BALL AND FOUND SOMETHING I LIKE. THIS IS MY FIFTH YEAR OF PLAYING BEEP BASEBALL. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I DON’T WANT TO STOP. I GREW UP WITH THESE GUYS. EVERYBODY THAT I PLAY WITH, EVERYBODY THAT’S ON THE TEAM, THEY HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE I WAS 14 GROWING UP. I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU THEY ARE TEAMMATES. THEY ARE LIKE ANOTHER FAMILY.>>THOSE ARE MY BROTHERS. I MEAN, WE HANG OUT OUTSIDE OF THIS, BEEP BASEBALL, IT’S A FAMILY. ESPECIALLY THREE CHAMPIONSHIPS LATER. I FEEL LIKE THAT’S ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS THAT WE ARE SO GOOD IS BECAUSE THE BOND IS JUST SO THERE. WE HAVE A VERY YOUNG TEAM. IT’S A LOT EASIER, I GUESS, FOR US TO HAVE FUN TOGETHER AND DO A LOT OF ACTIVITIES TOGETHER. I’M JUST HOPING THAT I CAN STAY WITH THE TEAM AS LONG AS I CAN, UNTIL I CAN’T PLAY NO MORE, BECAUSE THIS IS MY SPORT NOW. LIKE, THIS IS ALL I DO SPORTS-WISE. FOR THE LEAGUE OVERALL, I WILL SAY THAT I HOPE IT GETS TO THE PARALYMPICS AT SOME POINT, BECAUSE IT DEFINITELY NEEDS TO BE THERE. WE CAN SHOW OFF WHAT WE DO AND WE CAN KIND OF TEACH PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SPORT. I DEFINITELY THINK IT SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS A GREAT SPORT BECAUSE IT’S VERY ENTERTAINING. IT’S VERY DIFFERENT, AND IT’S VERY COMPETITIVE.>>I WOULD LIKE TO SEAT GAME OF BEEP BALL TO BE ON THE LEVEL OF PARALYMPICS, AND BE ON TELEVISION. I WOULD LIKE OUR SPORT TO BE ON ESPN, FOX, AND SHOWCASE THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED BASEBALL PLAYERS. WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER AND THE GOAL IS TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL, IN THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN YEARS, GET BEYOND THE WORLD SERIES AND BE ON TV.>>MY GOAL, MY FUTURE FOR OUR TEAM IS THAT ALL OF THESE INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE ON OUR TEAM HAVE SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITIONS INTO BEING A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER TO SOCIETY, WHETHER THAT’S THROUGH WORKING, HIGHER EDUCATION, BUT ALSO JUST BEING A SPORT, YOU KNOW, HAVING GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP, HAVING GOOD CHARACTER. FEELING LIKE THEY CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY, INSTEAD OF WHAT THE MISCONCEPTION IS AROUND BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED. OH, THEY ARE NOT GOING OUT. GIVE THEM THE CONFIDENCE TO GO OUT AND GO TO SCHOOL AND GET A JOB. AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO DO THAT. ♪ WE FIGHT, WE

Journey Indiana – Sport Through Sound
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