High School Senior raises awareness through senior project - NBC Connecticut

High School Senior raises awareness through senior project – NBC Connecticut

The New York Lions and Connecticut Chargers took the field in Franklin on Saturday for a baseball game for the blind. It’s part of Parish Hill senior Joseph Landolphi’s captain project.

Landolphi trained his friends who were blindfolded against a blind / visually impaired team from New York.

“I started playing blind baseball in 2016,” said Robert Weeks, a member of the New York Lions.

The purpose of the game is to raise awareness about the sport, with the goal of eventually making a baseball for the Blind League in the United States and eventually getting the sport into the Paralympic Games.

“I loved their reactions to the way they played,” Landolphi said after watching the match he organized.

“It’s a great honor for us to play these sighted kids,” said Braulio Thorne, a New York Lions player.

High School Senior raises awareness through senior project - NBC Connecticut

NBC Connecticut

“It’s different than you think it is,” added Ellis Technical High School student Philip Johnson. “You hear the term blind baseball and you like” how do you play this sport? “

There are no pitchers or catchers, and butchers hold the ball in one hand and it hits with the other. A team consists of five blind players, a sighted player and a sighted defense assistant.

“So when a ball is hit, it has to get past a certain line between the second and third, and if it crosses that line, it’s a fair ball,” Landolphi said.

Fielders releases the body and moves to try to find the ball, which has bells so they can react quickly to it. The ball is then thrown to a base or goal with a sighted assistant requesting and catching it.

“It’s about listening,” Weeks said.

“They would call first, second, third,” Landolphi said. “There are applause and beeps to guide the runners.”

High School Senior raises awareness through senior project - NBC Connecticut

NBC Connecticut

“Also the fact that they can run, many blind people can not run because they are afraid of running into obstacles,” said Damaris Soto, Lions coach. “Here, this is a safe environment.”

The first baseball game for the blind was played more than 25 years ago in Bologna, Italy.

“The players themselves get a sense of confidence and achievement,” said Donald Landolphi, who has worked blindly since 2014 in Brescia, Italy. He is trying to increase interest in the United States

In 2015, with the support of the New York Adaptive Blind Baseball League and co-founder Thomas DeRosa, coach Landolphi introduced American players, coaches and volunteers to the Italian version of adaptive baseball.

Saturday’s event was open to the public, and Donald helped explain the rules to those present while the game was being played. The lions’ opportunity to play the sport they love is just part of the experience.

“It’s not just the baseball aspect of it, but also the inclusion part of it where we communicate with them and they communicate with us,” Thorne said.

The Connecticut Chargers High School team put on some blindfolds and played against a visually impaired team – the New York Lions.

High school students were very impressed with the Lions’ abilities, and they left the field with a new perspective.

“You never really think that someone who does not see well or is completely blind could play baseball,” said Andrew Landolphi, who played for the Connecticut Chargers. “It’s just crazy to think about, it’s crazy to look at.”

“You would think that sight is the most important sense you can have in baseball,” said Joseph Landolphi. “Just the opportunity to play it opens up opportunities for everyone else.”

The New York Lions defeated the Connecticut Chargers 2-1, and everyone involved hopes the game continues to grow.

“Just like this, we want to spread blind baseball around,” Weeks said.

“We are here now to continue to push it forward,” Thorne said.

“We were all here to have fun, and it turned out at the end of the day, and I think we did,” Johnson concluded.

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