Athens, GA–Roger Keeney is the team captain of the Athens Timberwolves baseball team. He’s been playing right field for about 37 years now. Keeney says he can’t see himself playing on any other team. In fact, Keeney can’t see.
He’s been blind for 25 years.
And you did hear me right. He plays baseball, only, it’s beep baseball–a modified sport put on by Athens Inclusive Recreation and Sports, or AIRS. AIRS is an organization dedicated to making it possible for everyone to play sports, no matter what disability they may have.
Keeney is also the Executive Director for AIRS. He says, “You’d be surprised how severely competitive visually impaired athletes are and can be.”
Baseball isn’t the only activity AIRS organizes. They also offer soccer, tennis, kick ball, and kayaking.
You don’t have to be disabled to participate in these activities–anyone can join in. That’s a part of the inclusive nature of the organization.
“The way we approach inclusion is we invite everyone to come,whether it’s beep baseball–we have lots of blindfolds, and we will share. And you play by our rules,” says Keeney.
As for Keeney, he’s preparing for the triple header the Timberwolves have in a few weeks. If they do well, the next stop may be the World Series–the Beep Baseball World Series.