Atlanta Eclipse competes in Beep Baseball World Series - CBS46 News

Atlanta Eclipse competes in Beep Baseball World Series

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A World Series is being played in Georgia. For the first time, the Atlanta Eclipse is playing in the tournament.

This is no ordinary baseball tournament. This is the World Series of Beep Baseball. The players are blind, or visually impaired.

"The fact that we're blind is the least important part of the game. The most important part is that you see us as members of society," outfielder Garrick Scott said.

The outfielder has been with the Atlanta Eclipse, since the teams inception three years ago. Scott was born with his sight, but he's been blind more than half his life.

"I played football, and baseball and basketball, not knowing I had a hereditary eye disease," Scott said.

Richard Sexton recently graduated from high school.

"I was born 3 and a half months early, weighed 1.5 lbs. I'm not completely blind. I have sight in my right eye, enough to get around with," Richard Sexton said.

Each Eclipse player has a different tale of how they got here, to the World Series tournament. They all have drive, determination and the desire to be part of the team. Each player wears a blindfold, so all vision is equal.

"You've got to have teamwork, effort and communication between all the players," Sexton said.

Beep Baseball was developed in 1964. The first team formed in 1975. It's considered adaptive baseball, but there is no mistaking, Beep Baseball is a competitive sport.

"Beep ball has a lot of similarities to baseball," Scott said. 

Here's how it works.

"The ball beeps and the bases buzz. There are only two bases, 1st and 3rd. Unlike in baseball, you get 3 strikes, in this game, you get 4, but you only get 1 ball," Scott explained. 

The players run to one base, and they don't know which base, until an official flips the switch, and the base buzzes. The object is to get to the base before the other team fields the ball. That's how you score.

The pitcher is sighted, and on the same team as the hitters. So is the catcher, in this case, Richard Sexton's dad.

"It's fun to get out there and help them hit the ball, because really in Beep Baseball, the batters job is to swing level. It's our job to put the ball right where they need it. The hardest part of our game is to get the ball to hit their bat," Bren Sexton said.

The players also rely on sighted spotters, volunteers, who offer guidance on where the ball lands, or when a batter is about to hit.

The game gives Scott an athletic outlet.

"To have an opportunity to get out, to get out and get sweaty, and get dirty, and get out and talk trash. I'm a very competitive person. Beep Baseball allows me to do those things, and a lot more," Scott said.

For Richard Sexton, it builds confidence.

"Just the fact, that even though I'm visually impaired, I get to play baseball, so it's nice. I get the equal chances everyone else does, in this case," Richard Sexton said.

Each year the World Series is played in a different city and state. This year it's in Columbus, Georgia. The championship game is on Saturday, Aug. 3.

For more information about the National Beep Baseball Association, click here.  And click here to learn more about the Atlanta Eclipse.

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