NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Some of the best blind and low-vision baseball players in the world are playing right here in Oklahoma.
Norman is hosting the National Beep Baseball Association’s World Series this week and an Oklahoma-based team has been finding themselves in the winners’ bracket.
“We haven’t felt this adrenaline in a long time and right when you step in between the lines, your heart’s pumping and you’re there and it’s real,” Mark Ivy, a member of the NewView Lookouts said. “It’s the best game in the world,” said Mark.
Brothers Mark and Kyle Ivy play for The NewView Oklahoma Lookouts, the only Oklahoma-based team in this year’s National Beep Baseball Association World Series.
The Ivy brothers have the same eye disease.
Mark played traditional sports before his vision declined. That’s when Kyle told him about beep baseball.
“We actually didn’t jump on it right away because we didn’t want to be blind – right?” Mark said.
“We thought there was only one baseball and that was baseball and then we get out here and play – and they put you in your place really quick,” Kyle said.
In beep baseball, the larger-than-normal sized ball beeps since players can’t see it coming.
A sighted pitcher stands 20 feet out.
Once they hit the ball, players run to a buzzing first or third base while the opposing team fields the ball.
If they gain control of it before the runner reaches the base, the runner is out.
This is The NewView Oklahoma Lookouts’ first year playing, but they’ve already won some games in the world series.
They hope others will join in on the fun.
“If you have low vision or are blind and you think you can’t play a sport or be active, give us a call,” Mark said. “We’ll get you out there, we’ll get you to practice. We’ll teach you to play the game.”
The world series games run Monday, August 1, through Saturday, August 5.
You can find more information at nbba.org