“Our son, Andrew, has Cerebral Palsy and is completely reliant on his wheelchair for ambulation. Since the day he started communicating with us he has been a ‘sports nut’ with a huge passion for baseball. He knew his older brother was playing baseball on the local club team. Andrew expressed interest in playing too.  As a mom and with my first experience with a disabled child, I just told him in a dismissing manner that we would look into it. Quite honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen. My heart broke because I didn’t know how I was going to fulfill his request. Then we heard of the Challengers baseball team. What a blessing! Andrew has been thrilled ever since. Now 13 seasons later, Andrew still looks forward to each season with the same excitement. As soon as one season ends he is immediately looking forward to the next. Not only has this team been a gift for Andrew but the whole family too. Andrew has two siblings, an older brother and younger sister. We go to these games as a family because the atmosphere there is like being with a family. Year after year, Coach Murphy and his staff make sure everyone who goes to the game has fun. This includes moms, dads, and brothers and sisters.  My other two children have practically grown up there.  Not only have they been there to cheer their brother’s team on, but they have had the opportunity to experience the fun by watching other kids whose abilities are different than theirs enjoy life by playing a simple game of baseball. We all have been humbled by this team and its members and we are thankful. Coach Murphy’s philosophy has always been about having fun while at the same time respecting each other and treating each other as equals. It is about winning, but not by the points on the scoreboard, but by what counts in our hearts. We are grateful that there is a Challengers baseball team.”
– Family of a Challengers player

“The Tinley Park Challengers League has been such a positive experience for my daughter Kay and our family. Kay has played for the Tinley Park Challengers (through the Tinley Park Bobcats) for over 10 years. She has learned to participate in a team sport and come to understand the rules and process of the game. Most importantly to her, she has a ‘real’ uniform and plays on a ‘real’ field. She has always been made to feel welcome by other Bobcat teams. One amazing experience has been Kay’s opportunity through Challengers to socialize with teammates that have all kinds of disabilities. Our experience with the educational system has been to separate and educate by disability (i.e. developmental, autism, hearing, mobility, etc.) and therefore she had very little social interaction between groups. Baseball has provided Kay with the opportunity to meet and socialize with others that have different types of disability. Her community has grown so much through her participation with the Challengers. What a difference an accessible field would make for those with mobility issues.”
– Rita, Parent of a Challengers athlete