Minor League Ballpark 'Hits Home Run' by Catering to Special Needs Children

KANNAPOLIS, Nc. -- A local ballpark is making sure every child has a place to play ball.


It's the first of its kind in minor league baseball, and a step in the right direction.


Baseball season is back -- and when it comes to catering to those with special needs, the Kannapolis Intimidators are hitting it out of the park.


"The vision I would say is about a year old," said Kannapolis Intimidators General Manager Brian Radle.


The Intimidators are hitting a grand slam with this one-- creating a safe space for those with Autism and special needs to enjoy a night out at the ballgame.


"My youngest son Cam was diagnosed with Autism," said Radle.  "And being a baseball family, my wife and two boys are at the ballpark a lot.  At the beginning, it was hard for him to be at the ballpark."


That's how the idea came about.


"The more Cam was at the ballpark, we saw him become more comfortable there and more comfortable in other public settings.  We wanted to provide a place for those with special needs children to come if they get overwhelmed-- there's a place for them."


Radle teamed up with the Autism Society of North Carolina to create "Cam's Clubhouse," a room that serves as a safe space full of calming mechanisms and toys for those with Autism and special needs. 


It's the first minor league ballpark to have a permanent, sensory friendly space fully dedicated to those who need it.


"We wanted to make sure this was fully dedicated at every home game and every event at the ballpark," said Radle.  "This will always be here for these individuals."


A place where they can dream big, shine bright, and just be themselves.


"Everything happens for a reason, and I look at Cam and God made him special," said Radle. "And I'm convinced he's gonna do some great things-- and other special needs children are, too.  We celebrate their abilities-- we don't focus on their disabilities."


Opening night is Thursday and special needs children will receive complimentary tickets to every game through this weekend.  All you have to do is say "Cam's Clubhouse" at the box office.


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