Bambino Buddy-Ball returns to the diamond

Bambino Buddy-Ball
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 9:11 PM CDT
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GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) - A new season of Bambino Buddy-Ball is officially underway in Galesburg.

“It really is flexible based on the abilities of the player,” said Russell Idle, president of Galesburg Youth Baseball. “If they can up to bat, stand there, swing the bat, and run the bases, that’s fine. We do that. If they are in a wheelchair, and they want to come up and swing the bat, and get wheeled to the bases, we do that, too. We want everyone to have a strong quality of life, and we all need to do our part to try to do that.”

According to the Galesburg Youth Baseball, Bambino Buddy-Ball is for people between the ages of 5 and 21 who are physically and/or mentally challenged.

“Galesburg is a community for all,” Idle said. “This is one aspect of an area where people can enjoy the love of the game. [The players] just can’t do it under the set, stringent rules of regular baseball, but if you spend a little time, put in a little effort you can change these up a bit, and they can enjoy it, too.”

Vice president Corey Fox said the best part is seeing the kids smile when they play.

“We just make it to where it’s the same as the older kids get, what the regular leagues get,” Fox said. “We announce their names. I think it makes the kids feel a part of something.”

It’s a moment Corey’s son, Blake, anxiously awaits.

“He enjoys it. He usually starts asking when we’re gonna start playing around January.”

Blake said when he plays he feels like his favorite player, Derek Jeter, but he said there is no question who the better player is.

“Probably me,” Blake Fox said.

It’s a chance for all to enjoy America’s national pastime.

“It makes your heart warm to be able to do something. I do this for the love of children, I love the game,” Idle said. “This is just kind of the perfect example of why we do what we do.”

Bambino Buddy-Ball takes place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday mornings until July 8. It is free and available to anybody in the region who wants to play.