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Challenger Baseball of Broward County

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Apr, 2024

Challenger Baseball Kids Cheer On Marlins in Sunday Showdown Against Braves

The baseball hit off the tip of the glove of reigning most valuable player Ronald Acuna Jr. as he sprinted toward the right-center field wall on Sunday.

In the fourth inning of a game between the Florida Marlins and the National League-leading Atlanta Braves, Jazz Chisolm Jr., a star player of the Marlins, hit a double that scored Josh Bell. The ball landed at the wall in right-center field, where four sections of 500 members of the Challenger Baseball crowd were clapping and cheering and where the Marlins almost upset the Braves.

“Instead of their normal Sunday games, our Challenger kids had the chance to watch the Marlins play,” Challenger Baseball commissioner Randy Hibshman said. “The Marlins lost today, but you could see how excited our kids were to be at the stadium.”

An adaptive baseball program for all special needs children that plays on Sundays from mid-February through mid-May, Challenger Baseball’s game rules are modified according to the needs of the player, whether it means a teenage buddy pushing a wheelchair around the bases or a coach helping the child bat and field.

The group took up four sections along the outfield wall at LoanDepot Park. Tickets were complimentary of the program. The usual hot dogs, pretzels, and Cracker Jack were some of the treats that made the experience even more fun. Some kids cheered with facial décor courtesy of the face painting near the center field.

The Marlins were in line for the win until ex-Marlins slugger Marcell Ozuna hit a two-out home run in the ninth inning.

“I think almost all our kids identify with the Marlins, so this was a special day and a great experience for them,” said Hibshman of Parkland.

Playing on baseball fields from Pembroke Pines to Parkland, Challenger allows its children the opportunity to play baseball and participate on a team like their brothers and sisters. The program promotes good sportsmanship skills, encourages players to socialize and develop friends, and improves self-esteem.

Challenger Baseball is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. Private sponsors help to provide uniforms, equipment, pictures, trophies, and more, all at no charge to participating families.

To contact Challenger Baseball, call Randy and Debbie Hibshman at 954-345-9329 or email at [email protected].

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Challenger Baseball of Broward County

Phone : 954-345-9329
Email : [email protected]
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