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Cloudy,35°
Sunday, December 21, 2014
From center field to center stage
(Page 2 of 4)
Bernie Williams lends his support to local athletes with visual impairment and other special needs at a benefit concert in Rockville Centre on June 6.
The Bombers are a dedicated group of baseball enthusiasts who just happen to be blind and visually impaired. They hold rigorous practices, instructional clinics and play exhibition and competitive games against sighted and other visually impaired teams.
In this variation of the great American pastime, the balls beep, the bases buzz and Fass and his teammates are thoroughly enthused by it all. “It really enhances the life of all those who are visually impaired,” he says. “It’s a tremendous social outlet that builds up self-esteem and confidence besides being a lot of fun. It creates opportunity and that’s what I get excited about.
“When we play against sighted people, they get blown away by what our team can do and our level of play,” Fass says.
The Bombers will again host the Long Island Classic on June 28 at Speno Park in East Meadow. This annual tournament features games against other beep baseball teams from Boston, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In addition, the Bombers plan to participate in the 2014 National Beep Baseball World Series in Rochester, Minn.
The concert’s other beneficiary, the Challengers, are a team of boys and girls, ages 6-21, with a variety of special needs. The program introduces the young athletes to the rewards of a team sport, while they learn about baseball. This year the team will represent Rockville Centre when it hosts Challenger players from neighboring communities in its First Annual Challenger Tournament in June.
Through this concert, Fass has come full circle, combining his two interests to create a community event. “This is the first time I’ve done anything like this,” Fass says, “and that’s what makes this extra special.”
And in Bernie Williams, Fass has found the ideal headliner — an elite baseball player turned acclaimed musician who shares Fass’ passion.
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