Royals are Already Winners in Our Eyes
By Amy Sanner
This week the Kansas City Royals’ catchers and pitchers reported to spring training. As a baseball fan and a huge fan of spring and summer, this has me grinning ear to ear. I’m looking forward to the warmth of the season and the excitement of baseball.
While I have always been a Royals fan, last season they made a move that still has me smiling. Last year, the Royals minor league system signed an outfielder named Tarik El-Abour. He is the first person with autism to be signed to a minor league contract. I found this video and article to be both heartwarming and encouraging.
Most children, typically developing or not, will not rise in the ranks of professional baseball. However, it is always great to hear of a person who has worked through so much to reach his goals. When asked what he would say to a boy or girl who wanted to play baseball but were being held back because of autism he replied, “It’s not gonna hold you back. Don’t listen to people. It’s not gonna hold you back.” When asked why, “Because really the only thing that’s gonna matter is what your ability is and what kind of person you are”.