ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Taylor Duncan is an avid baseball fan, player and coach. He also happens to have autism.
“Well, I was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the age of 4, which was about 20 years ago. I had speech issues, sensory issues and anxiety issues. Growing up, my mother helped me through a lot of obstacles, but I still faced a lot of social stigma from peers and preconceived ideas of what one with autism can and cannot accomplish. It often precluded me from having the same opportunities as everyone else to be able to play traditional baseball," said Duncan.
That’s how Duncan got the idea to start a league for people like himself.
“I came back from a Florida spring training skills camp that I went to down and Kissimmee, Florida with other slow-pitch softball players. And I asked my mother going back up I-75, I asked her why isn’t this opportunity openly available for others like myself? Why does it just have to be me? Why can’t I help others, really break through that glass ceiling?" asked Duncan.
Now, the Alternative Baseball Organization has 74 teams across the United States, including several teams in the Peach State.
Macon, Columbus, Savannah and Atlanta all have teams. Now, Duncan is looking to expand to Southwest Georgia.
“In a lot of these areas, they don’t know what’s out there because there hasn’t ever been anything that’s out specific to their individual needs. And so that’s why we’re going ahead, open up recruiting now so that we can go ahead and find the coach down there and all the players down there in Tifton and Albany. And so we can go ahead and get that recruiting process started. And we can go ahead and get the field and everything we need so that we can get started first thing in the spring," said Duncan.
Duncan is also looking for coaches in the Valdosta, Thomasville and Americus areas.
If you are interested in signing up to volunteer or play, you can visit the Alternative Baseball Organizations website to start the application process.