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Local baseball coach awarded with ESPY for helping visually impaired adults play the game they love

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Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 09:29:03-04

CLEVELAND — A local baseball coach in Cleveland was honored with an ESPY award, which honors top performers in sports, whether they are professional or amateur, for going above and beyond in 2020 by helping those with disabilities play the game they love.

“Yeah, just because you have a disability doesn't mean the game's over. It just means you have to find a new way to play it,” said Jeff Dell.

Dell, who is legally blind, made sure his disability didn’t stop him and the rest of the Cleveland Scrappers, a nonprofit beep baseball team for the blind and visually impaired, from playing the game they love.

Like many things in 2020, the baseball team was paused and so this year, Dell knew he had to do something to guarantee the team returned.

He applied for a grant to buy equipment so his team could stay engaged and connected.

“And these people really helped me find myself and figure out the things that I could do,” he said.

For his efforts, he was awarded an honorary ESPY from ESPN Cleveland.

“That's pretty impressive. Like I'm you know, I'm at a loss for words there. When you look at sports and you look at things like adaptive sports, you're looking at what abilities people have versus what can they not do. We're looking at what we can do. And with adaptations, we could do anything that anyone else can do,” Dell said.

The 2021 ESPY Awards will air live on News 5 July 10 from 8 p.m. ET – 11 p.m.

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