Letter: Hopes for alternative baseball in Asheville

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My name is Taylor Duncan. I am 23 years old from Dallas, Ga., and I have autism. I am also the commissioner/director of the Alternative Baseball Organization, a 501(c)(3) authentic baseball experience for teens 15-plus and adults with autism and special needs across America. We are searching for coach/managers and volunteers to help us start a new program in Asheville.

When I was much younger, I had speech issues, anxiety issues and more that came with having autism. I wasn’t able to participate in competitive sports due to the developmental delays, in addition to social stigma (preconceived ideas) from those who think what one with autism or a disability can and cannot achieve. With the help of my mom, teachers, mentors and coaches who believed in me, I’ve gotten to where I am today in my life: to live with the goal to inspire, raise awareness and acceptance for autism and special needs globally through America’s pastime.

I started this organization to give others on the spectrum/special needs the opportunity to be accepted for who they are, to be encouraged to be the best they can be and to instill the confidence needed for those to be successful on and off the diamond. The program itself goes way beyond what basic stuff like wins, losses and statistics can show. Some players, because they were given the opportunity to try their best, have gone on to build desires to become employed and to learn how to drive behind the wheel of a vehicle. The program follows Major League rules (wood bats, base-stealing, dropped third strike, etc.) and is a true typical team experience for others on the autism spectrum and special needs to learn physical and social skills for life on and off the diamond.

Alternative Baseball has been featured on national media including CNN’s HLN, ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight,” NBC’s “Today,” among many local affiliate stations across the country. The program is expanding across the United States with new clubs forming in greater Atlanta (Cobb County, Dallas, Newnan, Atlanta/Buckhead); greater Chattanooga (Chattanooga, Cleveland); Athens, Ala.; Phoenix; greater Washington D.C.; Spartanburg County, S.C.; Jersey City, N.J.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Columbus, Ga./Phenix City, Ala./Auburn, Ala.; Jupiter, Fla.; Ormond Beach, Fla.; Philadelphia; and greater Charlotte; with many more in the works!

Thank you for your time! Please visit www.alternativebaseball.org for more information.

— Taylor Duncan
Dallas, Ga.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Hopes for alternative baseball in Asheville

  1. jason

    Seems like everybody in Asheville is autistic or has some kind of disability. Perhaps getting them all together to play baseball would be fun!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.