Hear the Beep: May 21

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Southport Police Department joins Indy Thunder and Indy Edge for Beep Baseball scrimmage

Southport Police Chief holds a ball used for Beep Baseball, being used to practice for the May 21 match against Indy Thunder and Indy Edge.

Southport Police Department will send its officers in blindfolded as they compete in a Beep Baseball match against professional teams, Indy Edge and Indy Thunder on Saturday, May 21 at Southport Park, 6901 Derbyshire Rd.

Greenwood-based Indy Edge will compete against the police at 9:30 a.m. Broad Ripple-based Indy Thunder will compete against the officers at 11 a.m. Then Indy Edge and Indy Thunder will compete at 2:15 p.m. After the games, the public will have a chance to try their hand at batting. The event, sponsored by the Lions Club of Southport Inc., is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help the teams go to the World Series in Ames, Iowa.

“All of these guys are competitors,” said Darnell Booker, founder of Indy Thunder. “We will see what kind of competitiveness the cops have and see their skillset, how they use their other senses besides seeing.”

Beep Baseball is a game designed for those who are blind or visually impaired. A game lasts six innings with three outs per inning. There are only two bases, which buzz when activated. When the ball is hit, the runner must identify which base to run to before the ball is fielded by a defensive player.  The runner will often dive onto the base to make it safely in time. If the runner is safe, a run is scored. A batter is allowed four strikes.

“We have a saying about Beep Baseball that applause is necessary, but silence is golden,” Booker said. “You have to wait until after the play is over with to applaud. The batter has to focus on the base they have to run to. The fielder has to focus on tracking the ball, finding it.”

Indy Thunder and RHI Extreme held a scrimmage at Southport Park in 2015. As the Southport Police officers watched the game, Chief Thomas Vaughn said he thought it would be fun to pit the officers against the professionals for a game the whole community will enjoy.

“I was impressed by the way to play the game,” Vaughn said. “I thought it would be fun for the police to do something outside of our comfort zone. The Lions Club has been so great to us, donating body cameras, AEDs and Narcan, that we wanted to help them raise money for another organization. It is the ideal thing to do.”

Leapfrog made Beep Baseball jerseys for the players to wear, with logos of all of the sponsors who have supported the police department throughout the year.

“It was an awesome idea,” Booker said. “Hopefully we can build a partnership with this event. Hopefully there will be many more to come after this year. We just like bringing awareness to our sport. With the community getting involved, it’s a win/win for everyone.”