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The Evanston Baseball & Softball Association invites individuals with special needs to participate in the first Evanston Buddy BasebALL League.

Buddy BasebALL provides the opportunity for individuals with a mental and/or physical disability to play baseball, regardless of their abilities.

Mike Hamann, vice president of operations at EBSA, says Buddy BasebALL will help individuals learn teamwork, promote self-esteem, and have fun.

“Two of EBSA’s core values are that every child has the opportunity to play and to give back to the community. We feel that our Buddy BasebALL program accomplishes both of these by giving children with special needs a chance to play and by teaching our players the importance of giving back to the community,” Hamann said.

The EBSA Buddy BasebALL league will not charge any fees to participate, and tee shirts and ball caps will be provided for all players.

Each player with special needs will be paired with an Evanston travel baseball player from EBSA’s 14U travel league, comprised of 14 year old players. The target age group for individuals with special needs is between 5 and 20 years old.

Ideally there will be enough participants to field two teams. The games will last about five innings and take place on Sundays in August, at 2 p.m. on James Park Field 3 in Evanston.

“EBSA families have been overwhelmingly supportive of our initiative to create this inclusive baseball program. As a community based organization, we believe it is our responsibility to support all children in our community,” EBSA President Steve Brown said.

More information is available on the EBSA website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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