DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Baseball is more than a game to Taylor Perkins.
Taylor has been playing with the Syracuse Challengers, a baseball team for special needs people of all different ages, for more than 20 years.
“We started when Taylor was extraordinarily autistic and didn’t talk, and spent a lot of time in the field, eating grass. And for us, it was great because we got to know other parents who were in the same boat,” said Dee Perkins, Taylor’s mother.
With this team, Taylor has grown to love the sport, calling it the “perfect summer sport that I do every year.” His parents also grew as they met other special needs parents.
“It was a place where we got to learn what we should be doing for Taylor and basically how to be better parents to him,” Dee said.
Taylor played in an All-Star game this week with Challenger coaches and other supporters, but a bigger destination lies ahead.
For his next game, Taylor and his teammates with physical and emotional challenges are heading to Williamsport, Pennsylvania this month to play a game at the Little League World Series.
“We are storming out of Central New York, and we are taking 26 players and 40 families down to Williamsport. And we’re going to show them what Challenger Baseball’s all about,” said Dom Cambareri, executive director of Syracuse Challenger Baseball.
There are 900 teams in the Challenger division across the nation, and two are going to Williamsport. Syracuse is the first ever from Central New York.
As much as Taylor is looking forward to the Little League World Series, he is still keeping everything in perspective.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the whole scoreboard, the good field, and most important of all, a picnic at the end of the game.” Taylor said.