PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – An organization that brings the sport of baseball to teens and adults with autism could be coming to Panama City soon.
CEO and Founder of Alternative Baseball Taylor Duncan was only four years old when he was diagnosed with autism.
Due to perceptions of the disability, he wasn’t able to participated in many sports opportunities, but loved the game of baseball.
In 2016, at the age of 20, he created Alternative Baseball to give people over the age of 15 with autism or special needs the opportunity to play America’s pastime.
“Once they take that diploma and end their high school career, so do their services because they age out at 18,” Duncan said.
Now the organization has grown with around 30 teams in 14 states and Duncan wants to bring it here to Panama City as one of his friends who lives in the area says the need is there.
“Just about every other day, he’s contacting me asking when is this program coming down here, I’ve got some people I can talk with for you. I’ve got some people who can really help make this successful down here,” Duncan said.
However, he can’t get a team started without a coach, so Duncan is searching for someone from the area to help.
“It’s not like they have to be a professional player or anything like that, but really we want those who have the passion to help others as much as possible become the best version of themselves. Baseball experience is nice but it’s mostly about the passion to help others,” Duncan said.
Duncan wants to help those in the Panhandle who thought their baseball playing dreams would never come true.
“You give us the opportunity to do what we can do and show you what we can do instead of putting up a wall of perception and preconceived ideas,” Duncan said. “You never know what can happen, you may think at first it will be disastrous, but it just might be the other way around too.”
Duncan hopes to get a league started here by spring of next year. He doesn’t just want expand to Panama City, but Marianna, Pensacola and Destin too.
To find out how you can volunteer, head to Alternative Baseball’s website.