Category Archives: Challengers Baseball

CHALLENGERS BASEBALL Information

Contact Denis Murphy @ DMurphy@superiorgraphite.com for more detail or to sign up.

SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT BOBCAT BASEBALLIf you stop by Bettenhausen Park on a Tuesday night through the months of May, June, and July you will find the true spirit of baseball.  The Tinley Park Bobcat Challengers is a division for young athletes and their families who do not allow developmental disabilities prevent them from participating in the national pastime.  Denis & Lois Murphy and Rich & Dawn Granata have continued this summer tradition which was founded by Mike Berkery in 1995 with 13 original baseball players.  The goal is simple…give everyone a chance to play baseball.  This league is not about competition; rather, it is about something greater…sportsmanship, teamwork, and accomplishment.
Coach Rich Granata states there are over fifty players signed up this year, ranging in age from 5 to 25 years old.  “We have many different special children with diagnoses including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Angelman Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, and many, many more.” quotes Coach Granata.  “Each player is an All-Star and will play in an end of the year All Star Game.”
Rich Granata reports that beyond following basic safety rules, the Challenger Division tailors certain rules to the skill level of the players; however, the games are played on the same fields, use the same equipment, and wear the same full uniforms as the rest of the Tinley Park Bobcat In-House Baseball League.  The teams are supported by coaches and young volunteers.  The “buddy system” is useful when assistance is needed while ballplayers are at bat or on the field.  Buddies help by providing wheelchair propulsion for rounding the bases or by chasing a hard hit ball on the field.  Most importantly…there are no strikes, no outs; everybody plays, everybody wins.
Each week the three teams are scheduled to face in-house teams within their age range.  Game times are 5:45, 7:00, and 8:00PM.  Stop by to cheer these ballplayers.  If your child with special needs would like to become a Bobcat Challenger, visit the Bobcats’ home on the web at www.www.tinleyparkbobcats.org.  There are no fees to join; the Bobcats want every child to experience pulling together as a team, being cheered on by the fans, encouraging his/her teammates, and being encouraged by his/her teammates.  Denis Murphy summarizes “Tinley Park Bobcat Baseball encompasses the entire spectrum, from Challengers to Full Time Travel, we have it all.”  Let’s play ball!!

Challengers are for children 5 years old and up, boys & girls, special needs.