Morris County Challenger Little League - New Jersey Sports for Children With Disabilities
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The Pioneers of the Challenger League
Jan 15 2008
Little League Baseball Inc.

In 1986 Ed Beardsley approached his son’s fourth-grade
teacher about forming an athletic program after school.
The students, not able to play regular baseball, needed an
alternative. All had some sort of motor deficiency and
disability. The first year five students started this informal
version of the Challenger program. They played catch with
a wiffle ball and eventually added a home plate and bases.
By the end of their first season, 14 children were playing
baseball with Ed Beardsley. In 1989 the team grew to include
27 children.
In 1989, Ed Beardsley accepted an invitation from Little
League Baseball to join a task force and assist in creating
a national program headed by Senator Robert Dole. Thanks
to the determination of this one dedicated father, today more
than 22,000 players participate in the Little League Challenger
Ed Beardsley was honored as the first Challenger Award
recipient in 1998 during the Little League World Series Award
Breakfast. Today he is joined by his son who now volunteers
as a buddy to players needing assistance.

‘Thank you, Ed and Dave Beardsley
For making our dreams come true’

Ruben Fuentes
The Morris County Challenger Little League


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