TUCSON, Arizona — All Taylor Duncan wanted to do was play baseball.
But when he was denied the chance growing up, Taylor wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.
"Every person deserves the opportunity to play professional baseball without the fear of judgment," said Duncan.
Duncan, now 24, was diagnosed with autism at the age of four.
"I had speech issues, sensory issues, and anxiety issues."
One thing that was never an issue was Taylor’s love for baseball.
But, taking the field wasn't as easy as grabbing a helmet and lacing up a pair of cleats.
"I faced a lot of social stigma from coaches who thought they knew what one with autism could and could not accomplish."
So Taylor decided to start "Alternative Baseball." Originating in his hometown of Dallas, Georgia, it gives autistic teens and adults, fifteen and older, the ability to step up to the plate. Its success led national media to pick up his story, which led to another revelation.
"I found something out that was very disturbing to me. And that was that every community in America had the same problem."
So, Taylor is taking Alternative Baseball nationwide. It’s already in twelve states, and this lifelong Diamondbacks fan, who also does motivational speaking, wants to bring his league, and his message, to Tucson.
"Just because we have the same diagnoses doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish the same things as everyone else."
Taylor Duncan is looking to find coaches and managers and wants to start playing next year.
More information can be found here: https://www.alternativebaseball.org/