MINNEAPOLIS — July is Disability Pride Month, and all month long groups across the country are raising awareness and honoring people with disabilities.
This week, the Minnesota Twins baseball team is doing their part to support this worthy cause.
The team is hosting its first ever “Disability Pride Days” on July 12 and 13.
“For us, it’s all about making sure that Target Field continues to be a place that is welcome for everybody,” Twins Director of Community Engagement Kristin Rortvedt says.
The team is honoring people with disabilities in several ways.
On Wednesday, the team set aside hundreds of special edition Twins hats for fans who are willing to upgrade their tickets and make a donation to Gillette Children’s.
“We are so happy to be able to advocate for our patients and families and all people with disabilities,” Gillette Children’s Vice President of Administrative Affairs Paula Montgomery says.
The Twins also asked one of Gillette’s patients to come out and score the first honorary run of the game.
19-year-old Joe Carr received this rare honor.
He and his longtime family friend and caregiver Bill Aberg got to run the bases before Wednesday’s home game.
“He’s a huge Twins fan,” Joe’s mother Kristi Carr says.
Despite his wheelchair, Joe is more active than most people.
"He's been riding a horse since he was two,” Kristi Carr says.
He also likes other sports, like downhill skiing.
"And he's been water skiing a couple times too and he's signed up to do that in August as well,” Carr says.
And now thanks to the Twins he can add professional baseball to that list.
“It was a lot of fun watching him. You guys did a great job,” Carr says to Joe and his caretaker Bill.
The Twins say they’re committed to creating even more opportunities for young people with disabilities to get involved with the game of baseball.
“We’ve got adaptive clinics that allow for wheelchair softball,” Rortvedt says.
“We have different kinds of pitching, different kinds of throwing, so that every kid can play this game we all love.”
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