ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Reggie Deal can deliver a pretty good fastball….even though he can`t see the plate.
This is a first for me, playing catch with a blind man. But make no mistake, Reggie Deal knows his way around a diamond.
‘So I’m going to go on a 30 ballpark 30 day tour around baseball and Busch stadium is stop number four, says Reggie Deal, standing on a baseball field near Lambert Airport.
Deal, who has been blind since birth, has had a longtime love of the game.
‘Baseball parks are unique and much more ways than football stadiums or basketball or hockey arenas because they all have their own personalities they play differently,’ says Deal holding a baseball in his hand. ‘If you close your eyes for 30 seconds there’s a lot about the game you’ll notice that your eyes don’t even have to tell you.’
Deal is in tune with the elements, the smell of the grass and sounds of the stadiums and he always has a radio on hand.
‘The right fielders going back he’s at the warning track and the place goes nuts,’ says Deal. ‘And you’re like, `Okay he caught that ball.` Wrigley is the hitters park. There’s a reason Arlington is a hitters park. There is a reason why San Diego and Seattle are pitchers parks.’
Deal decided on his trip around the majors after overcoming thyroid cancer four years ago.
The Texan says he`s looking forward to his second game at Busch Stadium.
‘From the organist playing `When The Saints Go Marching In` or doing the `Budweiser March` which they’re famous for,’ says Deal. ‘You hear it just gives the place, and you need that baseball electricity. I’m not going to say this just because I’m in town but I think of Saint Louis, the crowd is one of the best in baseball.’
‘Alright will take that even though you are a Texas Rangers baseball fan,’ says Patrick Clark as they both share a laugh.
‘Allright you got this guy,’ says Clark hitting his mitt so that Deal can lock in on the sound.
‘Give me one high and inside.’
You got it,’ exclaims Deal who winds up and delivers what looks like will be a fastball but instead is a change-up pitchy.
‘Changed the curve on that one a little bit,’ says Deal.
If i learned anything today it`s that sometimes to see things clearly, you just need to close your eyes.
Patrick Clark, News 11.