SPOKANE, Wash. - The Extreme Team is at it again, turning another baseball diamond into a field of dreams. This year they're building a field for Bambino Buddy Ball, a baseball league just for kids with special needs.
When completed the new ball field will be the only one of its kind in Washington.
Baseball is America's favorite pastime; it doesn't matter your age or ability everyone should have a chance to play ball, and the Bambino Buddy Ball league helps kids catch their dreams.
Buddy Ball pairs players with special needs with buddies who help them play. From pint-size players to adults, all are welcome.
Before Buddy Ball, kids with special needs were often unable to play in an organized baseball league. Through this program they're now accepted and get to be part of a team.
It's on the field where they build self-esteem.
"I feel like we feel like we are wanted and that we can keep coming back and play all the time," player Jeffrey Archer said.
These players are also getting physical activity and learning how to socialize.
"At first we wasn't sure, he didn't want to hit, he didn't want to do anything else, he didn't really pay attention to anybody else and already he is learning people's names and cheering for them," parent Savannah Johnson said.
But cheering aside, there is no greater joy than getting that big hit. On the field these kids are just like everyone else. They want to hit the ball far, run fast and score.
"I was running to first base, second base, third base and home," player Benjamin Johnson said.
It's not all about baseball though. When these kids are playing ball, they're grinning from ear to ear. They want to be here. There's no judgment on the diamond, everyone is equal. When they make it to home plate, sometimes they can't help but linger as for them it's a run scored but others know it means so much more.
Starting Saturday the Extreme Team will turn a section of Andrew Rypien field into a new ball park for Bambino Buddy Ball players. Along with the new field, the Extreme Team will also improve the roofing on the park's concession stand and fix part of the park's playground equipment.
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