Alternative Baseball “provides an authentic baseball experience for teens and adults with autism & other disabilities for physical and social skills enrichment.”
SAN DIEGO — Anyone can play. Those three words are precisely what makes baseball so incredibly special. You don’t have to look very far for examples of this. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is 6′ 7” and over 280 pounds while Houston Astros MVP, Jose Altuve is 5’6” and 165 pounds. The two couldn’t look any more different yet they both sit atop many Major League Baseball leaderboards.
Georgia native, Taylor Duncan has taken the “anyone can play” philosophy and ran with it. Duncan created his own league for those out there that just want to play ball, but haven’t been given the chance to.
When Duncan was 4-years-old, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The developmental condition involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors.
Eventually, Duncan felt forced out of competitive sports because coaches thought he was incapable of playing and some even said he was an injury risk. This meant Taylor could no longer play his favorite sport of baseball at the level he wanted. Taylor didn’t let that frustration keep him down for long. Instead, he created his own league where all are welcome.
RELATED: Baseball program serving disadvantaged youth ready for opening day this weekend
Alternative Baseball “provides an authentic baseball experience for teens and adults (ages 15+) with autism and other disabilities for physical and social skills enrichment in life on and off the baseball diamond.”
In an interview with News 8, Duncan said, “A lot of people, I guess, don’t think we could do as much as those that are out there playing competitively. But let me tell you what – when we’re in an environment where we’re encouraged to be the best we can be and accepted for who we are, we can do just about anything that everybody else can do. We just want the opportunities just to go out there and get her done.”
Alternative Baseball follows the rules of Major League Baseball.
Duncan’s league started with one team in a small town outside of Atlanta, but with determination and appearances on platforms like TEDx, The Today Show and ESPN, Alternative Baseball has exploded across the country.
Taylor told News 8 that the league has expanded to over 70 teams in more than 30 states with a new club coming right here to San Diego! With a new manager already at the helm, Alternative Baseball is hoping to begin play in the Encinitas/Cardiff area by the fall of 2021.
He had this message for San Diegans interested in taking part: “San Diego, we’re coming to you next. Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, we’re ready for you! We just got to find the players, the volunteers. We’ve got to find the field to be able to practice on. We need the community support now to make this happen. So what are you waiting for?”
If you want to learn more about Alternative Baseball or are interested (or know someone who may be interested) in joining the team heading to San Diego, click here.
WATCH: Alternative Baseball: Making the sport more inclusive
RELATED: Alternative baseball club looking for new members to expand program in North Carolina
Mario Kart Tour is in the middle of its Summertime Celebration, and has kicked off its Los Angeles Tour which will run until 27th/28th July. It doesn’t offer an all-new track but rather ‘a new route on Los Angeles Laps’; there’s also a new kart and outfit to get after.
As you can see below there’s the ‘Pinch Hitter kart’ which looks like the baseball hat table from Animal Crossing: New Horizons, albeit on wheels.
Mario can also get a helmet and a baseball uniform that’s seemingly designed to be as non-committal as possible – the pinstripe design and colours don’t quite match any current MLB uniform to avoid all those ‘Mario is an X fan, booooo’ comments. Well played, Nintendo.
Baseball loyalties aside, let us know if you’re planning to jump into Mario Kart Tour over the next two weeks!
Crush a high and tight fastball deep to right field or simply crush some skulls. R.B.I. Baseball 21 and Dead by Daylight are both available for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play from Thursday, July 8 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until Sunday, July 11 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
How to Start Playing
Find and install the games here on Xbox.com. Clicking through will send you to the Microsoft Store, where you must be signed in to see the option to install with your Xbox Live Gold membership. To download on console, click on the Subscriptions tab in the Xbox Store and enter the Gold member area to locate the Free Play Days collection on your Xbox One.
Keep the Fun Going
Purchase the game and other editions at a limited time discount and continue playing while keeping your Gamerscore and earned achievements during the event! Please note that discount percentage may vary by region.
R.B.I. Baseball 21
Dead by Daylight
R.B.I. Baseball 21 Play your way, create a legacy, and make a statement. R.B.I. Baseball 21 is an easy to learn, fast-paced franchise that is the perfect title for anyone wanting to pick up and play. With new features such as create-a-player, immersive time-of-day, and play-by-play commentary, step up to the plate and take your favorite team to the World Series.
Dead by Daylight Take on the role of the stalker or the prey in the multiplayer horror game, Dead by Daylight. Situational awareness is key for the survivors playing in third-person view, while the killer focuses on their target in first-person mode, all in ever-changing environments. Be sure to check out the new Resident Evil chapter, which includes a Killer, Nemesis; two Survivors, Leon S. Kennedy and Jill Valentine; and a new map, Racoon City Police Station. Purchasing the add-on unlocks the new Killer, both Survivors, and an exclusive universal Charm.
Also, from now through Thursday July 15, 2021, follow the @XboxGamePass account and retweet with #XGPDBDsweepstakes for a chance to win a custom Dead by Daylight Series S art piece and an Xbox Series S.
Don’t miss out on this exciting Free Play Days for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members! Learn more about Free Play Days here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire to find out about future Free Play Days and all the latest Xbox gaming news.
Author: Dean Shimabukuro, Sr. Marketing Program Manager, Xbox
Read more here >>> Xbox Wire
The U.S. has not yet announced its roster, Israel’s team is expected to include former major leaguers Ian Kinsler and Danny Valencia.
TOKYO, Japan — Host Japan will open the Olympic baseball tournament against the Dominican Republic at Fukushima on July 28, and Mike Scioscia’s U.S. team will start two days later against Israel at Yokohama.
The U.S., in Group B, also plays defending champion South Korea on July 31. The U.S. has not yet announced its roster, Israel’s team is expected to include former major leaguers Ian Kinsler and Danny Valencia.
Japan, whose roster features former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Yomiuri Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano, is in Group A with Mexico.
Only the first day is at Fukushima, about 180 miles north of Tokyo, and the rest of the baseball tournament is at Yokohama, about 20 miles south of Tokyo.
The U.S.-Israel game is the nightcap of a doubleheader that opens with Mexico-Dominican Republic, and the U.S.-South Korea game is the finale of a doubleheader that starts with Japan-Mexico.
As frustrating as Sunday was for Texas, they were quick to turn the page once they left the field at TD Ameritrade Park.
“We can feel sorry for ourselves or we can get to work. I know that’s what they’re going to do is put the work in,” head coach David Pierce said. “They got a lot of pride, I mean they’re young most of them but they’re tough as nails and they got a lot of pride, but still Tuesday, there’s no guarantees in this game. So, it’s our job just getting ready to play and get back here and compete.”
Texas will face Tennessee, another team who had their struggles at the plate in their opening game. The Volunteers were shut out by the University of Virginia 6-0.
Junior Tristan Stevens will get the start on the mound for Texas, he is their winningest pitcher with an 11-5 record in 2021.
Texas is hoping to erase the ghosts of 2018 past, that year, they were eliminated after two straight losses in their last trip to the College World Series.
If Texas is going to make it to the championship series, they will have to win four straight games.
Where to watch
No. 3 Tennessee vs No. 2 Texas
When: Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Where: TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, Nebraska)
Broadcast: Watch: ESPNU Listen: 104.9 FM The Horn/1260 AM
Author: Jonathan Thomas
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
OMAHA, Neb. (KXAN) — Texas baseball struck out 21 times against Mississippi State’s dominant pitching duo of Will Bednar and Landon Sims during Sunday’s College World Series opener for both teams.
The dubious number of Texas whiffs allowed the Bulldogs to set a College World Series record for team K’s in a single game, placing Texas one loss away from elimination. The two teams combined for 32 strikeouts, which is a new record for combined K’s at the College World Series.
The Longhorns will face No. 3 Tennessee in an elimination game Tuesday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU after the 2-1 loss to Mississippi State.
Texas could only scratch across one hit through the first eight innings before Mike Antico and the rest of the Longhorns hitters created some tense moments for the Mississippi State dugout in the bottom of the ninth. Antico hit a solo home run off Sims to slice Texas’ deficit in half at 2-1 to start the inning.
Back-to-back singles by Ivan Melendez and Cam Williams put runners at the corners for the Longhorns with two outs. However, Douglas Hodo III couldn’t deliver the hit to create an improbable comeback and tie the game at 2.
Hodo III was up in the count 2-0 on Sims before grounding out to second base to end the game.
This is Texas’ fourth straight CWS opening game loss while Mississippi State won its fifth straight opener in Omaha.
Bednar was near perfect just swarming the Texas hitters with pitches in the zone that they couldn’t touch. Bednar struck out 15 in six innings, coming up two strikeouts short of matching the College World Series record for strikeouts in a single game.
Bednar left in the seventh inning after a walk to Zach Zubia. Sims entered and threw six more strikeouts over the final three innings.
Texas starting pitcher Ty Madden put together a strong, seven inning performance, striking out 10 while allowing just two runs. Pete Hansen pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Those two fourth inning Mississippi State runs held up against the mostly lifeless Longhorns bats. The Longhorns only put four balls in play before their ninth inning rally came up short.
Texas head coach David Pierce will have some questions to answer after another difficult day in Omaha for his Longhorns. Texas went 0-2 at the CWS during its first appearance under Pierce in 2018.
Texas struck out 18 times against Mississippi State to open the 2021 season at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Author: Andrew Schnitker
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns are Omaha bound, sweeping South Florida to book a spot in the College World Series for the 37th time in program history.
Texas withstood South Florida’s best shot, winning on a walk-off Saturday night 4-3. On Sunday, the Longhorns offense battered the Bulls’ pitching staff for a 12-4 win. Texas posted four crooked number innings, piling up an 8-3 lead by the fifth inning.
Back-to-back doubles by Trey Faltine and Silas Ardoin knotted the game at 2 in the second inning. Texas finished the inning with a 4-2 lead after a sacrifice fly by Eric Kennedy and a ground out by Mike Antico.
Texas never trailed again.
Starting pitcher Tristan Stevens wasn’t at his best, but he escaped several tight jams and earned the winning result. Stevens threw five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs.
Cam Williams added the boom in the eighth inning, hitting a two-run homer over the center field wall for an 11-4 Texas lead.
In the ninth inning, the celebration was on. The Texas faithful cheered “Omaha” as Aaron Nixon struck out Julio Cortez to clinch the Austin Super Regional.
Up to this point, Texas has played nearly perfect postseason baseball, outscoring its regional and super regional opponents 49-12 in five games. The Longhorns fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field created a daunting environment, helping Texas to a 5-0 postseason record.
Now, Texas needs to continue its momentum at Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park as one of the eight finalists in the College World Series. The first day of the College World Series is Saturday, June 19.
This is David Pierce’s second trip with Texas to the College World Series, leading the Longhorns to Omaha in 2018. That appearance was short-lived with a quick 0-2 exit.
These Longhorns believe their 2021 stay will be much longer with a solid three-man rotation and a dangerous lineup from one through nine. Texas will be in bracket two, which is still undecided. No. 2 seed Texas and No. 3 seed Tennessee are awaiting the winners of the Mississippi State-Notre Dame and Dallas Baptist-Virginia super regionals.
Author: Andrew Schnitker
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
With a name like Super Baseball Simulator 1.000, you might expect a hardcore sports game. But nope! It’s a product by Culture Brain, a company known for offbeat games like Super Ninja Boy and The Magic of Scheherazade, and that unconventional spirit shines through here, too. In Japan, the game is titled Super Ultra Baseball, giving a somewhat better idea of the kind of strangeness that lies within.
Things certainly seem normal when you first start. It’s presented like many other baseball games of the 8/16-bit era, with a behind-the-batter viewpoint that switches to an overhead view whenever the ball is hit. There are three leagues, two of them with unlicensed teams from cities around the United States. However, there’s a third Ultra league, where all of the players have super powers. For example, batters have swings that will turn the ball into a bomb, which will explode in the mitt of whoever attempts to catch it. You can give it the power to orbit outfielders, allowing the batter extra time to hit the bases, or remove shadows to make it more difficult to catch. As a pitcher, you can turn yourself invisible or create shadow duplicates, change the speed of the ball by lighting it on fire or turn it into iron, or even cause it to warp around. Outfielders can even use powers like a rocket jump.
The usage of these skills is dictated by a shared pool of Ultra Points, which are allocated at the beginning of each game and can’t be replenished, so you can’t use them carelessly unless you set them to unlimited. Each skill is relegated to a specific player, so you can’t choose which to use either. But it is incredibly silly to select a team with magical powers like the Heroes and match them up with some sad chumps from Boston, then watch them use their super powers to mess around with them.
Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 sits in a position where it’s weird but not quite weird enough. Compared to Konami’s robotic Base Wars or SNK’s similarly futuristic 2020 Super Baseball, it’s not quite as over-the-top, because outwardly it looks and feels like any other early 16-bit sports game. The visuals and sound are strictly average, especially compared to games that came later in the generation. And it’s certainly not a patch on other major league 16-bit baseball games like Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball or World Series Baseball. Still, its weirdness gives it an identity that makes it stand out among other more technically accomplished games.