[Nfbmo] Baseball at it's finest.

Cory McMahon cjmc404 at hotmail.com
Sun May 20 21:53:27 UTC 2012

I, for one, appreciated the story and, thank-you, Fred, for sharing it! 
Until you shared the story, I wasn't aware of this person's journey to all 
of the ballparks across the country.

From: "Bryan Schulz" <b.schulz at sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2012 4:47 PM
To: "NFB of Missouri Mailing List" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Subject: Re: [Nfbmo] Baseball at it's finest.

> hi,
> i don't see it as a positive story when the news channels did the story 
> when he was in town.
> stories like his add to the difficulty of blind people being employed when 
> the news made it seem like it was a f'n miracle that a blind person could 
> find the stadium and attend a game.
> Bryan Schulz
>  ----- Original Message ----- 
>  From: fred olver
>  To: NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List ; NFB of Missouri Mailing List 
> ; msb-alumni at googlegroups.com
>  Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2012 11:58 AM
>  Subject: [Nfbmo] Baseball at it's finest.
>  You may not think this is about you, but I think it's something we can 
> all learn from.
>  In two weeks, Reggie Deal will plop down in a seat at Target Field at 
> Minneapolis and be generally unimpressed by the skyline, the giant Target 
> ad on Target Center, or the big light pole beyond the rightfield 
> bleachers. Deal won't see any of those things, but despite being blind, 
> he'll drink the scene in with other senses.
>  "There are a lot of things you're able to experience," he tells MLB.com, 
> "when your faculties take over and supplement what's not there."
>  Deal has started a mission to visit 30 baseball parks in 30 days. He's 
> sandwiching Minneapolis in between Boston and Phoenix.
>  "I want people to have a different visual of what blindness entails," the 
> Wyoming man said. "People get caught up in the negative, but there are 
> ways to work around it."
>  He's documenting his trip on his Facebook page (he's also on Twitter), 
> where it's obvious one of his biggest challenges will be how to fit in all 
> the fans who want to meet him into what must surely be a hectic schedule 
> to make the ballgames and the airline connections.
>  "People ask me, 'How can you enjoy the game without seeing it?'" he said. 
> "I say, 'You don't realize how much of the game you can pick up on until 
> you close your eyes.'"
>  this is the first one I read
>  Reggie Deal can tell a lot about baseball by simply listening.
>  As he stood near the batting cage at Target Field earlier this month 
> before a game between the Twins and Blue Jays, Deal could hear how the 
> baseball came off the bat of Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe.
>  "The way the ball sounds off the bat, if you're close enough to the 
> plate, sometimes it'll give you an indication if it's a slice — like 
> that," Deal said as Plouffe curved one foul down the right-field line. "Or 
> if it's real hard hit."
>  Most baseball fans might not pick up on such subtleties, but Reggie Deal 
> is not like most baseball fans. The 39-year-old has been blind since he 
> was a baby. Born prematurely, he was placed in an incubator. But an 
> overexposure to oxygen in the incubator caused his retinas to detach from 
> his eyes.
>  Deal hasn't been able to see since then, but that hasn't stopped him from 
> enjoying the fine details of a baseball game. As a matter of fact, Deal is 
> on the home stretch of a quest to see all 30 major league ballparks in a 
> 30-day span. Saturday, he was at Comerica Park in Detroit, his 21st park 
> of the trip. Sunday, he'll visit Coors Field in Denver for ballpark No. 
> 22.
>  It's something Deal has wanted to do for years — the idea for this 
> journey came about nearly 15 years ago, he said. But he started getting 
> serious about it in recent years by planning itineraries for his trip.
>  His plans became reality April 29 as the Texas native and current Wyoming 
> resident began his journey at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He'll end 
> his whirlwind tour on May 28 at iconic Wrigley Field in Chicago.
>  Deal won't see all these parks like other fans would see them, but he 
> remains intensely curious about many physical aspects of each stadium. He 
> talks fondly of the warehouse building beyond right field at Camden Yards 
> in Baltimore. And about how the odd shape of the outfield at Boston's 
> Fenway Park intrigues him. He's also hoping to perhaps get a chance to 
> tour the ivy-draped outfield walls of Wrigley Field.
>  "For a blind man, he's one of the most visual people I've ever met," said 
> Reggie's wife, Lorna.
>  Being blind allows Deal to see ballparks in an entirely different 
> fashion. He soaks in the smells of the roasting hog dogs and notes the 
> differences in sounds from one park to another. During batting practice in 
> Minneapolis, Deal commented on the echoes that resonated from Target Field 
> as each ball hit the bat.
>  "It's not that I really see anything that other people don't see. It's 
> more the perspective," Deal said. "What I say is close your eyes for a 
> minute and you'll notice there's a lot of things that go on in the 
> ballpark that the stadium itself will tell you. . . . Those sounds and 
> experiences will tell you things that are happening that you don't 
> necessarily have to look at to fully appreciate. …
>  "It's the totality of each ballpark that makes it unique in its own way."
>  Reggie Deal is unique, too. Not only has he been blind since he was 
> young, but Deal is also a thyroid cancer survivor. During his trek to see 
> all 30 parks in 30 days, he's also helping promote thyroid cancer 
> awareness by teaming with ThyCa, the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' 
> Association.
>  "It was a very changing experience," Lorna said of her husband's 
> diagnosis, which came while he was in graduate school several years ago. 
> "He decided then that you don't put things off that you want to do because 
> you never really know how you have. Life should be lived to the fullest."
>  And that's exactly what Reggie Deal is doing. He's currently between jobs 
> after moving from Texas — where he was a program development specialist 
> for a community college — to Afton, Wyo., to be with Lorna. The two met 
> online and married in June 2011. Deal's trip will wrap up in time for him 
> to return home and celebrate one year of marriage with Lorna, who stayed 
> behind in Wyoming while her husband left for his cross-country voyage.
>  "I'm ready to be home, and she really wants me back home,” Deal said. "At 
> this point, I feel like I'm on the baseball version of a Mount Everest 
> climb and I'm not going to stop now.”
>  Being blind and traveling across America on his own has presented several 
> challenges for Deal, who is paying for his trip out of his own pocket. 
> Since he decided to travel without carrying much cash, he has had trouble 
> finding taxis that take credit cards. In some cases, total strangers have 
> driven him to find nearby ATMs.
>  While in New York, he chipped a tooth when a cab door hit him in the 
> mouth. The following day, he had to scramble after discovering his airport 
> shuttle to take him to the hotel wasn't there.
>  "It was one thing after another," Deal said. "Just seeing how shocked 
> people are by the fact that I'm doing this and they seem to think, ‘My 
> God. You've got a disability. You must have a travel companion, right?' 
> I'm like, ‘No, I don't.' I never have, unless I'm traveling with my wife 
> to go somewhere.”
>  Recently, Deal had an issue with customs while flying from Los Angeles to 
> Toronto. The flight attendant told him he must have a customs agent read 
> the directions aloud, so Deal had to wait until he landed to fill out the 
> forms.
>  But he's pressed on and has had a pleasant experience at each ballpark. 
> It's the task of getting there that's been a bit of an obstacle.
>  "I was worried about the fiascoes of public transportation and how it 
> would frustrate and upset him," Lorna said. "But him being out on his own 
> and doing this on his own, I wasn't worried about him, per se. It was more 
> about how others around him would respond."
>  Deal's experiences have been memorable. He witnessed the boos that rained 
> down on Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett on Thursday at Fenway Park — "They 
> were on him mercilessly," Deal said — but missed Rangers slugger Josh 
> Hamilton hit four home runs in one game by just one day.
>  While in Toronto on Friday, Deal was keeping tabs on what Tigers pitcher 
> Justin Verlander was doing in Detroit against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 
> Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth inning just one day before Deal 
> was scheduled to visit Comerica Park. But Verlander fell just short, 
> allowing his only hit in the ninth.
>  "I'm sitting in Toronto (Friday) night and I'm thinking, ‘Verlander, you 
> better not throw a no-hitter because I'm in Detroit the day after you make 
> history,' ” Deal said. "I don't normally root for a guy to not get one, 
> but I'm kind of glad he didn't. Otherwise I could honestly say that I 
> missed two major baseball accomplishments by one day.”
>  Deal has yet to witness a grand slam, an inside the park home run, a 
> shutout or a walk-off. He's hoping to witness a bit of baseball history in 
> his final week and a half of his journey.
>  Even if he can't see it.
>  "That's the beauty of baseball. You never know when someone's going to 
> hit four home runs," Deal said. "You never know when someone's going to 
> throw a no-hitter, pull off a triple play or an unassisted triple play or 
> hit for the cycle. There's always the chance things happen."
>  Deal's itinerary:
>  April 29: Arlington, Texas
>  April 30: Houston
>  May 1: Atlanta
>  May 2: St. Louis
>  May 3: Kansas City
>  May 4: St. Petersburg, Fla.
>  May 5: New York (Citi Field)
>  May 6: Washington
>  May 7: Baltimore
>  May 8: Philadelphia
>  May 9: New York (Yankee Stadium)
>  May 10: Boston
>  May 11: Minneapolis
>  May 12: Phoenix
>  May 13: Oakland, Calif.
>  May 14: San Francisco
>  May 15: Los Angeles
>  May 16: San Diego
>  May 17: Anaheim, Calif.
>  May 18: Toronto
>  May 19: Detroit
>  May 20: Denver
>  May 21: Seattle
>  May 22: Milwaukee
>  May 23: Cleveland
>  May 24: Cincinnati
>  May 25: Pittsburgh
>  May 26: Miami
>  May 27: Chicago (US Cellular Field)
>  May 28: Chicago (Wrigley Field)
>  http://www.dealingwithvisionloss.com  For some of us it's a way of life 
> and for some of us it just makes life easier. Fred Olver
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