Saint Joseph High School Baseball Team Plays Buddy Ball with Special Needs Children

Coach Mike Murray high fives a Buddy Ball player Credits: John Mooney
Coach Mike Murray pitched to Buddy Ball players on Sunday morning. Credits: John Mooney
Buddy Ball player ready to take a big swing. Credits: John Mooney
Jake Guensch, a sophomore from Fanwood, NJ, gave buddy ball players tips on playing first base, Credits: John Mooney
Trisha Garlatti and Francine Pychewicz Credits: John Mooney
St. Joseph High School (Metuchen) JV team with head coach Mike Murray at North Edison Baseball League. Credits: John Mooney

EDISON, NJ --  Edison Buddy Ball, an athletic organization formed in 1993 to give children with any special need a chance to participate in a variety of sports. The organization, which offers  baseball, basketball, and soccer programs to special needs children, was the brainchild of Leonard Stein, who was involved in the North Edison Baseball League at the time.

The league embraced the concept and recruited teen-age volunteers to be buddies for the children and persuaded some parents to become coaches. Edison Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 75 and the Edison Elks joined the effort by raising money to buy team uniforms and equipment, enabling children to join up without any cost to their families.

Varsity and JV players from St. Joseph High School (Metuchen) acted as buddies for the special needs children for the past two weeks. They guided the players around the base paths, played catch with them, and made new friends for the day.

Sign Up for E-News

"It's important for our guys to participate in a program like this," said St. Joe's varsity head coach Mike Murray, who celebrated his 28th birthday by bringing his players to North Edison baseball complex and pitching to the children. "Each player gets a buddy and helps them out."

Organizers Trisha Garlatti and Francine Pychewicz said the program has particular meaning in April, which is Autism Awareness Month.  Garlatti is the liaison with the various teams that help with the 10-week program. Upcoming participants include teams from Bishop Ahr High School and Keane University.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM


Unique Creatures

Arts & Entertainment Government

Tue, February 27, 2:30 PM

Edison Public Library, Edison

Internet I (Beginner)


South Plainfield Students Planning to Walkout in Support of Safer Schools

February 23, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – In the wake of last week’s tragic school shooting in Florida, students from across the country – including right here in South Plainfield – are joining together for change.

On Feb. 16, the non-profit organization Women’s March launched a Youth EMPOWER movement calling for a national school walkout and publicizing the event on social ...

Grape Expectations Hosts Wine Tastings

February 22, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Grape Expectations, recognized as the oldest “Make Your Own Wine” establishment in Somerset County, will host wine tastings the next two weekends for those curious about wines made from grapes harvested in South Africa and Chile in South America.

Tastings are scheduled Saturday, Feb 24, from noon- 4p.m.; Friday, March 2 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, March 3 ...

Diegnan: Computer Science Now Required in New Jersey Schools

February 23, 2018

Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to require school districts to offer course in computer science and Department of Education to adopt changes to NJ Student Learning Standards in computer science has been signed into law.

“To flourish in tomorrow’s digital economy and society, our children should be learning computer science,” said Senator Diegnan ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...