Money needed for special needs baseball field in Walker
WALKER - A new baseball field is in the works in Walker for special needs children.
Mayor Rick Ramsey says the city wants to raise around $300,000 to build a baseball field suitable for mentally and/or physically challenged children in the area. Right now, at least 60 special needs children play ball in Walker.
Three years ago, an autistic boy, Jeremiah "The Home Run King" Wilson, spoke his first words on a baseball diamond at the age of 7. He told his coach that he wanted to bat.
"I was just in tears and crying...me, my husband and my kids and we were just looking like we could not believe what had just happened," said Jeremiah's mother Monique Wilson. "We were just so ecstatic and joyful."
Ramsey says the city has already raised $30,000 from area businesses, and the city has applied for grants through several foundations connected to Major League Baseball.
"It's enlightening to watch these kids play ball, because they want to win. I mean they're going to hit the ball, run the bases and they have a ton of fun out here," he said. "It does give them the opportunity to do something like good, healthy exercise and fresh air. We just need a field to support it."
Until "Challenger's Field" becomes a reality, Jeremiah plans to keep swinging his bat.
"If you see our kids and see the joy of them playing ball and hitting the ball and the smiles on their face and running, you would be in tears and you would also want to donate something," said Wilson.
Ramsey says he hopes to have the field funded and built by the end of 2016.