HARRISONBURG, Va.- James Madison’s Diamond Dukes hosted teams from the junior and senior divisions of Challenger Baseball from Bridgewater on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Park for the 13th consecutive year.
Challenger Baseball of Bridgewater is a division of Little League that gives children who can not safely play baseball in other programs the opportunity to play in a team setting. Each player is matched up with a buddy that encourages and plays with the player during games.
“This is a special day that our players look forward to each year. It makes them feel special to get to play ball here at JMU,” said Sue Hutchinson, one of the directors of the league.
In between innings everyone, including the fans, comes down onto the field to do the chicken dance. The tradition started a few years back and is one of the highlights of the night.
“It’s the best part,” said JMU baseball graduating senior Billy Logan. “We take baseball so seriously in college and this reminds us that no matter how old you are it’s important to have fun and play around.”
Hutchinson and head coach Spanky McFarland thought of the idea 13 years ago and it has happened every Wednesday during finals week since.
“I knew right away that we had to be involved. The kids are having the time of their lives and our players are gaining an experience that brings out a different side of them,” said McFarland.
The night is a win-win event for all. To get involved with the Challenger Baseball of Bridgewater or to learn more visit: http://www.bridgewaterchallenger.com/.