Big league dreams take to the field in annual baseball game

Frontier Community Services World Series arrives in Kenai on Saturday

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2006

It may not be the Major League, or even he Alaska Baseball League, but the Frontier Community Services World Series Baseball Event this weekend is sure to be hit with participants and spectators alike.

Frontier and the Kenai Little League will host the third annual event at noon Saturday at the Kenai Little League Fields on Spruce Street.

Lisa Greenleaf, an program assistant at Frontier, said the event will provide clients coping with physical and mental challenges an opportunity to partake in baseball and all that comes with it.

“Many of these individuals — some with profound disabilities — don’t have the same opportunities to participate in team sports, so this provides them with fun in the sun, the experience of camaraderie and everything else that comes with playing a team sport,” she said.

Greenleaf said there will be four teams this year, named the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks after Major League Baseball teams.

Each team will have roughly 10-12 players of many ages, all of whom experience a range of disabilities. They will be aided by coaches, managers and other support staff.

“It’s a lot of fun and the consumers really love it,” Greenleaf said.

In addition, Greenleaf said community support for the event has been, and continues to be, overwhelming.

“We’ve always had great support from the community. This year we’ve got 27 local sponsors,” she said.

These sponsors provide players with baseballs caps, T-shirts, baseball gloves and other related items.

“We also always have local dignitaries turn out to give their support,” she said.

Greenleaf said Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams will conduct this year’s first pitch and catch immediately following a singing of the national anthem by Frontier consumer Kathleen Muller.

A barbecue with hot dogs and hamburgers and a dessert potluck will follow the event.

For more information, call Frontier Community Services at 262-6331.

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