The Boston Renegades just won New England's largest baseball tournament for the blind and visually impaired Saturday afternoon in Woburn. The team went 3-0 in the “Beast of the East” tournament, facing off against the best squads from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Renegades outfielder Christian Thaxton says he’s here to compete, but also prove doubters wrong.
“I’ve never met a blind person who wants people to feel sorry for them,” says Thaxton.
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Thaxton along with all the players are legally blind. Four years ago, he started losing his vision and was forced off his junior college baseball team.
“I went from playing college baseball, to moving back home with my parents to figure all this out,” says Thaxton.
Everyone around him said his competitive career was over. Instead of giving up, he eventually found the Renegades.
“It’s given me a part of my life back,” says Thaxton.
These men and women play a variation on America’s past time called “beep baseball.” The difference is, the ball and all the bases make sounds, to help the blind and visually impaired athletes on the field, track their movements.
Even though all the players here are legally blind, how much they can actually see varies from person to person. So they all have to wear a blind fold to level the playing field.
For founder John Oliveira, it’s more than a competition. He says the camaraderie and team building also helps off the field.
“It’s a great source of support,” says Oliveira.
The Boston Renegades will be representing New England in the National Beep Baseball Association World Series in Florida at the end of the month.