|Years with Team:||22|
|How Connected with Team:||Recruited by Jo Kozak at the Cleveland Sight Center in 2001. Saw game for first time at the World Series in Strongsville, OH in August 2001.|
I was born in 1979) and raised in Conneaut, Ohio. I lost my vision to retinitis pigmentosa. I was diagnosed when I was in 4th grade. Playing sports around the neighborhood and on youth leagues was what all my friends did when I was growing up. I played tee ball for a few years and played soccer until I was in junior high. I always loved baseball. I would be tracking the ball and then it would vanish on me. I just thought I sucked at catching until I later found out it was because I had blind spots from RP. I ran track for a season in junior high but was not very interested in individual sports. Playing team sports like baseball was something I thought I had lost forever.
I moved to the Cleveland area after high school graduation. I became involved in activities through the Cleveland Sight Center like a computer users’ group for visually impaired people. It was at that time that Jo Kozak started telling me about beep baseball. I wish I would have started playing that day. In 2001 the NBBA World Series was hosted by the Sight Center and Cleveland Scrappers. Jo invited me to go check it out. She took me over to meet the Scrappers when I got to the fields. When Jo told them who I was, Leonard Williams shouted young blood and ran over and gave me a bear hug. He scared the crap out of me. I talked with some of the guys and met people like Special K, Big Mac, and Packman. I thought it was neat and I was excited that I could start playing ball the next season. I had no idea how much it would change my life.
With beep baseball, I found a challenge, my passion, my voice, and my community. I found so much more than what I could have ever imagined. I found my other family. I have travelled the country playing ball and even served on the league board of directors between 2003 and 2006. I had served as team captain and have been Coach for the past several years. I have seen this game lift the spirits of other visually impaired players and challenge them. It has been an honor to try to be as much a part of their experience as others have been a part of mine.
I graduated from Cleveland State University with my BBA in Information Systems. I had worked at Cleveland State as the Assistive Technology Specialist for 14 years and in April 2022 was promoted to Assistant Director of AT and Access for the Office of Disability & Testing Services. My wife and I are involved in the Cleveland Westshore Lions Club in Westlake, Ohio.
Stats and Honors
- NBBA World Series Defensive All-Star 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006
- Offensive All-Star Bolingbrook Beep Baseball Bash 2002
- Tournament MVP Indy Beepball Bonanza 2005
- Honorary ESPY in 2001 for Keeping Players Active During Pandemic
- Something like 12-15 regional honors for offense and defense between 2003 and 2012 at regional tournaments