MONTCLAIR/LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Students from Montclair's Renaissance Middle School were able to meet former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott and former Major League outfielder Curtis Pride on Wednesday afternoon at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.
During the unique visit for the special program on overcoming obstacles and disabilities, two of professional sports’ most inspiring role models Abbott and Pride shared how they overcame their obstacles to realize their dreams.
Abbott, despite being born without right hand, pitched 10 seasons in the major leagues, including an unforgettable no-hitter with the Yankees in 1993. And Pride, born deaf, played parts of 11 seasons in the majors and is now Major League Baseball's Ambassador for Inclusion.
Pride and Abbott were also accompanied by Wendy Lewis, Senior Vice President, Diversity and Strategic Alliances, Major League Baseball and Mark O’Neal, President, Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS); and Director of Medical Administration, Chicago Cubs.
The group that made this visit possible is called PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth), which is a national public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in conjunction with MLB Charities, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. The PLAY campaign, which will hosted events in all 30 Major-League ballparks in 2016, educates America’s young people about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.
PBATS believes that people with disabilities have an important role to play in America. Using illustrations from baseball, PBATS has developed the “Ability Transcends Challenges” (ATC) program which demonstrates that people with disabilities can be a significant engine in the life of our country, if given the opportunity.
From a medical and scientific point of view, as leading advocates for the sports medicine field, PBATS members believe that disability is not – and should not be – a barrier to any human’s success.