[Nfbmo] Baseball at it's finest.

DanFlasar at aol.com DanFlasar at aol.com
Sun May 20 22:04:29 UTC 2012

I think the story is well-written and kept my interest -  even though I'm 
not at all interested in baseball.
I guess the only question I have is - why do it in 30 days?    Clearly, 
that's the big challenge - and what makes it newsworthy, but... doesn't  it 
detract from the experience?  I hope he raised money for thyroid cancer  - and 
I hope he lives long and has a great life with his bride.  It  would seem 
that the real fun in this would be to take some time to savor  the environment 
of the city and the stadiums.  I hoe he gets a chance to do  this again - 
at a more leisurely pace, where he can take in the city, get some  rest and 
remember what city he's in.
     And on the other hand, no matter who  you  are, 30 stadiums in 30 days 
would be an exhausting ordeal for anyone, sighted or  not! 
    godspeed, Mr. Deal.
In a message dated 5/20/2012 4:54:39 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
cjmc404 at hotmail.com writes:

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 
> the news made it seem like it was a f'n miracle that a blind person  
> 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 
> ; 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 
> 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 
> "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," 
> 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 
> 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 
> "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. 
> if it's real hard  hit."
>  Most baseball fans might not pick up on such subtleties,  but Reggie 
> 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 
> his eyes.
>  Deal hasn't been able  to see since then, but that hasn't stopped him 
> enjoying the fine  details of a baseball game. As a matter of fact, Deal 
> 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 
> resident began his journey at  the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He'll 
> 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. 
> talks fondly  of the warehouse building beyond right field at Camden 
> 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," 
> 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 
> Minneapolis, Deal  commented on the echoes that resonated from Target 
> 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 
>  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 
> 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 
> you  never really know how you have. Life should be lived to the  
>  And that's exactly what Reggie Deal is doing. He's  currently between 
> 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 
> 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. 
> 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 
> 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 
> finding taxis that  take credit cards. In some cases, total strangers 
> 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 
> 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 
> 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 
>  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 
> and doing this on his own, I wasn't  worried about him, per se. It was 
> about how others around him  would respond."
>  Deal's experiences have been memorable. He  witnessed the boos that 
> 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 
> Justin Verlander was doing in  Detroit against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 
> Verlander took a no-hitter  into the ninth inning just one day before 
> 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, 
> better not throw a no-hitter because I'm in  Detroit the day after you 
> 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 
> 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 
> 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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