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updated: 7/7/2015 10:40 PM

Legion, special rec ballplayers team up for Summer Classic in Des Plaines

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  • Video: Giving back a lot of fun

  • Twenty-five athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Twenty-five athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Gus Gilbertson, left, high-fives American Legion assistant coach Jim Haffey as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Gus Gilbertson, left, high-fives American Legion assistant coach Jim Haffey as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Joe Correro-Conners connects with the ball as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Joe Correro-Conners connects with the ball as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Kyle Holm, left, high-fives American Legion player Willie Sampson as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Kyle Holm, left, high-fives American Legion player Willie Sampson as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Terrence White is all smiles as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Terrence White is all smiles as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Tim Hanlon plays third as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.

      Tim Hanlon plays third as 25 athletes from Northwest Special Recreation Association were paired up with high school players from the American Legion Mount Prospect Bulldogs Post 525 baseball team Tuesday during the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Baseball took a back seat to making buddies Tuesday when 25 athletes with disabilities took to the field with the American Legion Mount Prospect Post 525 Bulldogs baseball squad to play ball.

The game was part of the 2015 Summer Classic at Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines, sponsored by the Legion post and Northwest Special Recreation Association.

The event was conceived by post Cmdr. William Starr, Bulldogs manager Jeff Daniels, and NWSRA Superintendent Jayne Finger. The game gave athletes with disabilities a chance to compete alongside their non-disabled peers, providing valuable opportunities for awareness, empathy and fun competition.

Star said the Legion players realize they have been gifted with exceptional skills in the game, and there are individuals with physical and mental challenges who could benefit from a buddy relationship in a game situation.

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