Blind Tyler Baseball Team Headed To World Series - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/16/06-Tyler

Blind Tyler Baseball Team Headed To World Series

A World Series title in Texas?

The Rangers have not done it, the Astros could not do it, but the Tyler Tigers just might.

However, it is not just the possibility of a world title that makes these athletes special. Most of the members of the Tyler Tigers are blind. 

"We didn't want to sit around and have a pity party," said Tigers Coach Larry Reed. "We wanted to get out and prove to the community that we can play baseball as well as the sighted."

The Tyler Tigers play in the Beep Baseball league. The rules from the regular game are a little different but it is the same principle, get a hit and get on base.

The Tigers began in 1994, when Larry Reed got wind of other blind baseball teams and wanted to start one in Tyler. Most of the players are blind, but some members have sight. The catcher and pitchers can see. Other sighted team members wear blind folds.

"When I first started it was kind of hard, it was kind of difficult," said Tigers Assistant Coach Tony Bush. Tony can see. "You don't ever imagine not having your eyes."

That is just the lesson their visually impaired teammates want them to learn.

"A lot of people say you are blind and let me help," Larry explained,  "so what we do is we get out here and show them we can do things just as good as they can, we just don't have sight."

"It's amazing," said sighted Tigers team member Cardell McCauley. "The ability to hear something and not see it, and just go straight to it."

In addition to the beeping ball, the bases also beep. They are triggered to a sensor so that way when the ball comes near, players know which way to run. The Tigers realize just how surprising a blind baseball team is to most folks.

"They're like,  'Yeah right, how do you do that?'" Alvin Francis said.

Alvin lost his sight after a terrible crime. He was severely beaten. But in addition to being teammates the Tigers are also like a family and Alvin said like family, they are always there.

"Sure I got my lows you know everybody does," Alvin said.

"We really depend on one another even when we get down," Larry said. 

"It's still a good life," Alvin smiled.

The Tigers have battled past their individual problems and battled straight into the World Series. They will compete with 15 teams from across the planet for the title.

The beep baseball world series is in Cleveland, Ohio. It runs from July 31-August 5.

  • KLTV SportsLocal SportsMore>>

  • Marshall hires Claude Mathis as new Head Football Coach

    Marshall hires Claude Mathis as new Head Football Coach

    Thursday, March 30 2017 2:28 PM EDT2017-03-30 18:28:23 GMT
    SMU Football RB coach headed to MarshallSMU Football RB coach headed to Marshall

    This afternoon Marshall Independent School District approved Claude Mathis as the Mavericks' new head football coach, replacing Clint Harper who left to be the athletic director at Duncanville High School in February.   Mathis joins the Mavericks after two seasons as SMU’s running backs coach, but most recently became the program’s director of high school relations when former Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor was hired as the Pony's assistant head coach and r...

    More >>

    This afternoon Marshall Independent School District approved Claude Mathis as the Mavericks' new head football coach, replacing Clint Harper who left to be the athletic director at Duncanville High School in February.   Mathis joins the Mavericks after two seasons as SMU’s running backs coach, but most recently became the program’s director of high school relations when former Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor was hired as the Pony's assistant head coach and r...

    More >>
  • SFA Pro Day sets up Lumberjacks for success

    SFA Pro Day sets up Lumberjacks for success

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-03-30 03:32:55 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff

    It's been Pro Day after Pro Day across the country the past two weeks, and today it was Stephen F. Austin's turn to put their crop of eligible athletes in front of NFL scouts.  "I was really proud of all the guys. I thought we had some excellent work on the bench press, Anthony Pullins knocked it out of the gym. We had some guys really jump well, run well, and then of course catch and throw well. I was real pleased and I think the five or six organizations that were here le...

    More >>

    It's been Pro Day after Pro Day across the country the past two weeks, and today it was Stephen F. Austin's turn to put their crop of eligible athletes in front of NFL scouts.  "I was really proud of all the guys. I thought we had some excellent work on the bench press, Anthony Pullins knocked it out of the gym. We had some guys really jump well, run well, and then of course catch and throw well. I was real pleased and I think the five or six organizations that were here le...

    More >>
  • Tampa Bay QB Winston visited East Texas on Wednesday night

    Tampa Bay QB Winston visited East Texas on Wednesday night

    Thursday, March 30 2017 12:14 AM EDT2017-03-30 04:14:02 GMT
    Jameis worked out with Peterson on Wednesday.Jameis worked out with Peterson on Wednesday.

    I think its safe to say Jameis Winston likes to hang out with East Texas talent. The Tampa Bay quarterback was in Lufkin Wednesday night with former teammate Jorvorskie Lane to help the former Lufkin star talk with kids and support his "Lane of Hope" foundation. But, earlier Wednesday, a picture surfaced on social media of Winston working out with Adrian Peterson in Houston at a training facility.

    More >>

    I think its safe to say Jameis Winston likes to hang out with East Texas talent. The Tampa Bay quarterback was in Lufkin Wednesday night with former teammate Jorvorskie Lane to help the former Lufkin star talk with kids and support his "Lane of Hope" foundation. But, earlier Wednesday, a picture surfaced on social media of Winston working out with Adrian Peterson in Houston at a training facility.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly