Blind baseball fan visiting 30 ballparks in 30 days
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One man has spent the last month going to a different ballpark every day. His goal is to catch 30 baseball games in 30 days, even though he won't be able to see anything.
Reggie Deal can tell you almost anything you want to know about baseball. But the most important thing you'll learn is you don't need to see to love the game.
"If you come in person and close your eyes for a second, there's things that the fans and the atmosphere will tell you," Deal said.
He was born blind, but that doesn't stop him from taking in the sounds and the strategy of every play.
"If you hear the way the ball comes off the bat, that will give you some clue as to what's gonna happen," said Deal. "Ohhh, a cracked bat!"
Now, at age 39, this baseball fanatic is doing something he's always wanted.
"No one in my situation has ever taken on the challenge," he said.
Traveling cross country to 30 games at 30 stadiums in 30 days. We caught up with him at an Astros game. Minute Maid is one of his favorite ballparks.
"When they open the roof, it feels and sounds like a completely different stadium. If you close your eyes and listen to the place and hear the echo of the crowd. the way the sound and air feel, it feels a little like the Astrodome," said Deal.
During his tour, he snaps pictures and blogs on a voice recorder.
Friends tag along for some games.
"After two games, I'm pretty worn out, ready to go back home and he's got 28 more to do and I don't know how he's gonna do it!" said friend Heather Compton.
For others, he travels solo.
"Sometimes he's doing buses, trains, taxis, to ballparks or hotels, and it's a lot harder for him because he can't see a lot of the stuff and we can," said friend Rhonda Collins.
So why does he go to all the games if he can't see anything?
"They're each different in their own way. I mean, the organist is different, if it's a team that has an organist. The public announcer is different. The traditions, the things the crowd does is different. They don't sing 'Sweet Caroline' everywhere, but they do at Fenway," Deal said.
While watching without being able to see may not seem like a perfect game to us, it is to Deal. He hopes his 30 game streak inspires others o take a run at their own dreams.
"If you have a passion for something, try to find the best way you can to enjoy it and when you do that, it gives you a reason to live," said Deal.
He's working on an audio diary called "Blind Baseball Perspective." We have a link to his blog with the same name here.
local, sonia azad
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