KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Special Olympians competed at a unique clinic hosted by Royals Charities Tuesday.
Fifty special needs athletes from both Missouri and Kansas participated in a training session with Royals alumni: including Dennis Leonard, Willie Wilson, John Mayberry and Brian McRae who coached the Special Olympians on hitting, throwing, fielding and running.
Though most of the kids don’t know these former big leaguers, just having positive reinforcement and encouragement means a lot to them.
“You come out here, we are going to throw the ball around,” said Leonard, a Royals Hall of Famer.
“They’re going to hit, they’re going to field a little bit, run the bases,” Leonard said. “Nothing in depth where they can’t understand, but it’s just going to be a situation where we go out and have fun and give them a little pep talk.”
Just completing the Special Olympics alone is quite an accomplishment.
For some though, this may be their first introduction to America’s pastime.
The day proved to be a memorable experience for everyone involved.