Blind passion

At a Yankees/Orioles baseball game, a small group of blind fans filed into the row in front of us.

Intriguing.

What must that be like, attending a baseball game blind? For someone to experience a visual sport yet able only to hear its sounds? Must be quite a different sensation; one those of us with sight could never grasp … the distinct crack of a wooden bat … the hearty “BOO!” of an enormous crowd … and the silky voice of a PA announcer.

Sure, maybe a blind fan misses much visually, such as busy images on a stadium’s giant TV screen, or the spotless white uniforms before they’re muddied up, or the drunk fan in the second row being escorted out of the stadium by Security.

Yet blind fans are probably greatly attuned to their other four senses. What we may take for granted they may envelope in its entirety … the meaty aroma of a hot dog … the salty flavor of a soft pretzel … or groping their way along hard plastic stadium seats.

Two of the blind fans at that particular game were a young couple sharing an earpiece while they listened to the action on the radio. Their heads remained almost cheek to cheek for nine innings.

Endearing.

The group of blind people knew when to cheer for a good play or a home run. It didn’t seem to matter to them which of their senses led the open air experience, only that their passion for baseball led them to the game.

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