By Sabina Mollot
Earlier this spring, the Peter Stuyvesant Little League debuted a new division for disabled players, The Challengers.
The kids were recruited pretty quickly, with just enough time for them to be able to march in the league’s annual parade on April 1. Then, last Sunday, the newly formed division played its first game on Con Ed Field.
For many of the 25 players, who’ve been placed on two teams, the Angels and the Braves, it was also their first time playing baseball.
Rick Hayduk, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager who helped form the division, said because of the severity of the kids’ disabilities, they wouldn’t have been able to qualify even to play tee-ball (which is how most Little Leaguers start). The players’ conditions include varying degrees of autism, cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome.