Some folks in Sikeston are in the process of starting a baseball league for children with special needs. They don't count outs, runs and everybody bats. The goal is for the kids to make friends and have fun.
It's called Challenger Baseball and it's for kids with special needs. Their motto is "Every child deserves the chance to play baseball."
"From a dad standpoint, my son is going to get to play baseball and I never thought he could," Derrick Pullen, an organizer, said.
Pullen says he got the idea to start a Challenger Baseball league in Sikeston after his son Marshall played on a team while he was at Ranken Jordan hospital in St. Louis. He says his son couldn't be more excited for a league to start in his hometown. Pullen says it's been a busy couple of months getting the league organized. Now, they just need kids to sign up.
"The cost for these kids is nothing," Pullen said. "They don't have to pay a dime to play and they will get a full uniform and just like any other kid."
They also are looking for young volunteers to assist the athletes. They will help them run, catch, throw or whatever the child needs. Pullen says no baseball skills are required.
"If they want to go out in left field and play in the grass or sit under a tree and talk, that's ok," Pullen said. "We are not here to play baseball. Baseball is just a platform. We have these to make friends and we want these able bodied kids to realize these kids want to be just like you. They have the same likes as you do. They want to play baseball and organized sports just like you."
Pullen says they will play on the basketball courts at the Sikeston Athletic Complex so kids with wheelchairs can play. They don't want to limit anyone who wants to play.
"It really is a win-win because the parents are excited," Pullen said. "The kids are excited. The kids are making friends and everyone is happy."
Opening day is September 6. If you would like to sign up your child or volunteer, visit