MindsEye’s Ultimate Beepball Tournament is a Dream Come True
At Last, Father and Son Can Play Ball Together
There is no place in America where baseball is more a part of the heart of its city and people than in St. Louis! But for those in our community who are visually impaired, playing baseball was only a fantasy – until Beepball.
John Ashby dreamed of sharing his love of sports with his son; baseball was his lifeblood, his one constant that never failed him. But when AJ was born almost 5 months premature and diagnosed with retinopathy, John realized that his dream of teaching his child how to play ball was no longer possible. Until one day, MindsEye visited AJ's school to put on a Beepball Demonstration. They were amazed that they could finally play baseball together, and now John's dream is a reality; he and AJ will hit the field together for the first time on Saturday, July 14th for MindsEye’s 12th Annual Ultimate Beepball Tournament.
John shares, "Beepball through MindsEye has shown my family even more that anything is possible. To go to an event like the Beepball tournament is humbling and very special to us."
Held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Assumption Parish at Mattis Road in South St. Louis County, the tournament brings together all kinds of people, personalities and athletic abilities, and puts them on an even playing field. Defending champs Lighthouse for the Blind will be up against 15 other teams including AJ’s Gladiators.
Described by blind athletes as “a dream come true,” Beepball adds a spin on baseball that allows those who are legally blind to compete. There are six innings per game and three outs per inning. Each player is blindfolded – except the pitcher and catcher. It's all about rhythm, timing, and trusting your senses; you must play this game by ear.
The 12th annual Ultimate Beepball Tournament is a one-day competition of fun, athleticism, and teamwork that benefits MindsEye’s Beepball Program to bring the sport into public schools throughout the year, so that more kids like AJ can play ball.
Walt Nathan, former MindsEye board member, who helped launch MindsEye’s first beepball tournament, and Andy Hannigan, longtime MindsEye Beepball committee member and beepball advocate will be honored with MindsEye’s Vision for the Game award during the tournament.
MindsEye creates access. Whether through the Virtual Newsstand, Audio Description, or Beepball, MindsEye is committed to creating access to all of life’s moments.
MindsEye is grateful for the support of our community partners.