Renegades Up North

Anyone who knows me, knows that after school lets out for the summer, my life becomes consumed by one thing. Beep Baseball. It even got to the point that my wife is now all in on the game. It’s a bit of an obsession and some might argue that it is borderline unhealthy, but it’s what I do so deal with it.


A few weeks back, the official beep baseball season ended in Beaumont, TX. It was a good season and my team, the Association of Blind Citizens Boston Renegades, ended up taking 5th. We would obviously have liked to finish higher, but that’s the way things go in sports. Adding to that feeling, as an individual, I had what I would describe as one of the unluckiest tournaments of my life in Texas. Again, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.


Anyway, now that the season is over, things have slowed down. When I got home from Texas, thoughts of the upcoming school year and real life popped up. And to be honest, I don’t care for it. A teammate of mine even described that week after the World Series as “one of the worst weeks of the year.” Well, he’s right.


But, there is a saving grace. In the fall, the Renegades typically play a charity game against the Woburn Host Lions in order to raise some funds for the team, get some local action and thank some of our biggest supporters. This game will be happening again this year which I am incredibly excited to be playing in.


But this year, there are two other charity games happening! One in Tewksbury on September 24th, and one I am incredibly excited about.


The Lions Club I happen to be a part of up here in Salisbury, MA, wanted to get in on the action. It’s been talked about for the better part of 3 years. Well, it’s finally happening!


This Saturday, August 20th from 12-4pm, the Renegades will be playing at Lion’s Park in Salisbury against the Salisbury FIre Department.


This game is going to be great. It is the brainchild of none other than my wife Gina and fellow Salisbury Lions Mike, AJ, Kate, Marianne, John and of course all the others whom I am forgetting. They’ve spent hours of their own time organizing the game, locating sponsors, setting things up and anything else that is involved in this whole thing. Take it from someone who helped a little, and heard “saw” all of the work my wife did for this, it is no easy task.


What makes this game different from some charity games I’ve been a part of, we are raising money for a couple different causes. Not only are the Lions generously donating a portion of the money to support the Renegades, which is a 501c charity, and our expensive trips to tournaments, but they are also giving a piece of the money to go towards putting in a sauna for the Salisbury Fire Department. This sauna will help decontaminate their skin after putting their lives on the line to fight fires.


Obviously, the Renegades raising money for our season is close to me, but helping firefighters is another cause that is near and dear to me. My father was a firefighter/EMT for better than 30 years. Firefighters put their bodies through a lot, and the least we could do is make sure they are properly taken care of. Not only that, but the Salisbury Fire Department has also agreed to play the Renegades, which is quite gracious.


So now you know what this event is supporting, want to know what’s actually going on?


Well, there will be a scrimmage game between the two teams, which if you haven’t seen the game played, is going to be interesting. Not only will you see blind athletes who work year round to improve their skills, but you’ll also see one of the best beep baseball teams in the country. You’ll also get to see some of Salisbury’s finest put on a blindfold for the first time in their lives and try to play an incredibly interesting game. Which will lead to some quite comical situations. The game itself will be fun and very interesting to watch, but that’s not all.


After the game, we will give anyone who wants a shot at taking some swings off our pitcher and try to hit the ball while blindfolded. Then, they’ll try to beat the Renegade defense and run to the base blindfolded. Anyone can give it a shot, young or old. Trust me, it’s harder than you think. I’ve been doing it for 6 years and it’s still not easy…


Not only will there be things happening on the field, but there’s a couple things I am personally pumped about that will be there.


Behind the field, TrueNorth Ale Company of Ipswich, MA will be there serving up some of their great beers. This happens to be a company I enjoy quite a lot. I am normally just a simple beer drinker. I drink what we used to steal from my dad’s fridge as a kid. But TrueNorth truly opened my mind to sour beers, which I now love. The people at TrueNorth not only offered to show up and sell beer, but they also agreed to donate a percentage of the proceeds to the cause. Which is yet another excuse (not like I need one) to have a few cold beers on a late summer afternoon.


To go with your beer, or beers, Fat Belly BBQ of Georgetown, will have their truck there serving up delicious barbeque. Now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE good BBQ. That’s what you’re going to get with Fat Belly. And again, the owners of Fat Belly are also donating a portion of their sales to the Lions Club. This kind of generosity is incredible. I tell you what, between the beer and the BBQ, Sunday morning is going to be rough for me.


And if you’re not interested in beer or BBQ, a few of our local youngins will be running a lemonade stand! All of the proceeds there will be going to cause as well. How great is it to see kids getting involved in helping their community? Got to love that.


There will even be shirts that you can purchase to commemorate the event. Both teams will be wearing versions of these shirts during the game that will feature the logos of the teams on the front and a list of our great sponsors on the back. The shirts are being generously provided by Creative Touch Designs in Salisbury.


Speaking of the generous sponsors, we can’t thank them enough for opening up their wallets to support two great causes. These businesses and families are what keeps things going in this country and this local community. None of this would be possible without them. Here is a photo of what the shirts will look like with all of the sponsors on the back:


As you can tell by all of this. I am quite excited for this event. If you have any questions you can reach out to me here, on social media or by email at blindowlblogs@gmail.com. You can also find the Salisbury Lions Club on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SalisburyLionsServe


There is also a Facebook event for the game here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1113610572898018/?post_id=1134364167489325&notif_id=1660740579320764&notif_t=plan_mall_activity&ref=notif


Also here is the link to the Association of Blind Citizens Boston Renegades website for information about beep baseball: https://www.blindcitizens.org/renegades/


This event is going to be awesome. I hope to see as many of you as possible there! But if you can’t attend, SCTV, which is the local access TV in Salisbury, will be filming the event and I’m sure will have it available online.


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