Baseball stadium with seating and a baseball diamond with green grass

Father Gets to Play Baseball with Blind Son for the First Time

July 13, 2018 - 10:54 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A father and his 15-year-old son will get to play baseball together Saturday for the very first time.

A.J. has not been able to play any sports because he's blind. Born five months premature, his father John Ashby says it was touch and go for his one pound three ounce child.

“They put him in my hands and we ran down the hallway from the delivery room to the NICU. The doctors couldn’t do it, they had stuff all over him and they put him in my hands, and we ran down the hallway. It was intense,” he says.

Surgery repaired one retina and his vision today is 40 percent. That means Ashby’s dream of teaching his son how to play sports appeared out of reach.  That is until organizers did a beep ball demonstration at his school.

The oversized softball beeps and the bases are foam columns. All players are blindfolded accept the pitcher and catcher. And Ashby just got the call that this is the first year AJ is old enough to take part

AJ says while he used to be bummed he couldn't play sports, now he plays video games but he is looking forward to this game tomorrow.

“Smacking the ball as hard as I can and tackling a big foam thing,” he says.