Posted On: July 31, 2018
This summer, SDI intern Tyler Hammond has been playing for the Panthers baseball team at Yogi Berra Park on The Hill. The team is part of the Challenger Baseball league, which he has been part of since 2011. He mostly plays second base.
Challenger Baseball is a league for kids and adults, age 5 on up, with developmental disabilities to come together as a team and be cheered. Outs and runs are not counted. Everyone plays, scores and wins.
Tyler encourages young people to play Challenger Baseball. “They’ll make a lot of friends.” Since 1994, that’s been its fundamental goal.
“There are about 8 teams in the league,” Tyler explains, “and there’s no win or lose. The All- Star game was played on July 14 and it was a lot of fun.”
Challenger Baseball players have the opportunity to make friends with teammates and their buddies. Buddies are kids and young adults (between 10-25 years old who don’t have a disability) who hang out with the players on the field and assist them if they need a bit of help.
“I was born a Cardinals fan and always enjoy keeping score every time I go to the game,” Tyler tells us. “I also love baseball cards.” Tyler maintains an extensive spreadsheet of every Cardinals baseball statistic dating back to the very first game!
Tyler’s favorite baseball memories are attending game 7 of the 2011 World Series and the recent Cardinals 10,000 career wins with his cousin.
“Deaf (individuals) can play baseball and be fans at the same time,” Tyler tells us. “That’s called being passionate!”
Besides playing baseball, Tyler is working at SDI this summer to complete his work co-op experience for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York where he graduated in May. “I studied Business Technology and I hope to work in a business that relates to baseball,” Tyler says.
During his internship this summer, Tyler is working in SDI’s Development Department with Lori Becker, SDI COO and Director of Development and Communications doing database work. “He is an absolute whiz at excel and our database!” Lori says. “He works so quickly, I can’t keep up with him. He is an asset to our office and a lot of fun to have around too.”
Keep on scoring, Tyler! You’re our star.