A different kind of baseball game is coming to the region. When baseball season begins next spring, a game designed for the visually impaired will be played in Frankfort.
A beep baseball complex is planned for a site near the Kentucky River. The ball emits beeps as both the batter and fielders are blindfolded.
At Tuesday's ground breaking, Kentucky Beep Baseball Founder and President David Wickstrom said it was a "dream come true." Since childhood, Wickstrom says he's had an interest in helping people with special needs. "This game is adapted for their needs and goes to their abilities so they can play America's favorite pass time," said Wickstrom.
Wickstrom says officials in the national beep baseball office say the Frankfort field would be the first dedicated solely to beep baseball competition. Lexington resident Roy Roberts was also at Tuesday’s ceremony. Roberts inherited an eye disease and lost his sight completely by age 18. "In my opinion, it's a giant step to help us blind folks to get back into playing some games and getting active," said Roberts.
Wickstrom says the land for the beep baseball field was donated by the state. Because the plot is in a flood plain, he says there's not much that could be built on the property, but it's ideal for beep baseball. There are some 51 beep baseball teams, with the vast majority located at Fort Knox. Wickstrom says teams from Louisville and Lexington will compete on the Frankfort field.