Visually impaired athletes in Southern California finally have a chance to take to the field.
The San Gabriel Valley Panthers is the region's newest beep baseball team. Beep baseball is a national sport for the visually impaired that's been around since 1976. The Panthers practice every Saturday at Orange Grove Park in South Pasadena.
Darren Keeper started the team in May. He's been a baseball fan all of his life, but has never been able to play the game himself, having lost his sight at age five after battling a brain tumor.
Now, he can finally play the sport he loves.
"I want to give other blind people a chance to get out and play," said Keeper.
The number one rule in baseball is to keep your eye on the ball. But not in this game.
Hitters and fielders must use their ears to play. To score a run, the batter must connect with the ball and then run to make contact with a tall, soft beeping blue base situated in the outfield, before the fielder can reach and raise the beeping ball.
All the players are partially visually impaired or completely blind, so everyone must wear a blindfold to level the playing field. Only the pitcher is allowed to play without a blindfold.
Some of the Panthers' players travel for hours just to play with the team. The two closest other teams are in Stockton and Las Vegas. Keeper has plans to create more teams across Southern California. He also wants to compete in the National Beep Baseball World Series next year in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In the meantime, he's on the field in South Pasadena, keeping his ear on the ball.