GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) -Taylor Duncan refused to allow autism to hold him back from athletics.
He founded The Alternative Baseball Organization, giving players with special needs an opportunity to play baseball.
Duncan was diagnosed with autism when he was four. He played in a youth league for one year when he was 12, then played slow pitch softball when he was 16. His love of the sport inspired him to create a league for special needs teens and adults to join and play without judgment.
“When people give us the opportunity to show what we can do, when we can work together and power through the perception than keep those walls up, keep those fences up, and have those perceptions of what we can and cannot accomplish,” said Taylor Duncan, Alternative Baseball Organization Founder.
Duncan’s organization allows players 15 years of age and older to hit the field.
“We started in Cobb County in 2016 with only 7 players out of Powder Springs. We did practices working on the basic of skills and eventually we worked together to be able to start on the advanced set of skills to where we are working on the comradery by working on the communication skills,” Duncan said.
He says his mother and other mentors inspired him to keep pushing to play.
“I still kept facing a lot of social stigma that unfortunately kept me from having the opportunity to play traditional sports due to perceptions of what one can and cannot accomplish with a disability,” said Duncan.
Duncan has been honored by his favorite team, The Atlanta Braves.
Taylor: In 2019. “I was commemorated by The Braves Organization as the Community Hero and actually had the chance to go on the field to be presented with the contribution from the Braves Organization,” said Duncan.
The Alternative Baseball Organization is now expanding to serve North Carolina.
“Jacksonville would make a great area league for those that live around that community. It doesn’t just have to be in Greenville, it could be in Jacksonville, it can be anywhere else that you serve. All you have to find is a volunteer coach/manager to help get it started in each of these areas,” said Duncan.
Duncan is looking for coaches and volunteers to help expand the sport in the East. He expects the process to take up to 6 months.
“We’re trying to get as many connections as we can possibly get, even any donations that we can possibly get as well to help us continually provide equipment and insurance for each of our programs,” Duncan said.
Duncan hopes to get enough support so baseball players like him can show off their talent.