“This is great. This is great. This reminds me of when I used to listen to baseball on the radio with my dad.” — Tom, 83 years old (with tears in his eyes), BasebALZ participant
“It’s what we did when I was 8 years old. It keeps you alive.” — Richard M., Alzheimer’s patient
Baseball has played a huge part in many peoples’ lives, from their early experiences on the sandlots, to collecting baseball cards, to going to their first major league game or even sharing a Red Barber radio broadcast with a loved one.
These moments were shared ones and a real sense of community was created with each baseball experience. Baseball became part of a collective memory and added to a sense of belonging. It gave an identity and recognition to people who shared this same passion and enthusiasm.
Since 2015, SABR members in Texas, California, Connecticut, and New York have created a field of dreams by sharing their passion and baseball memories with those dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia, with chronic medical issues or who are socially isolated and lonely.
In a fun, supportive environment, facts matter much less than the emotions rekindled and pleasant memories recalled. The results have been heartwarming, exciting, and transformative. Relationships have been built and those with dementia have found a rich social setting that meets their need for human contact and social growth. Wheelchair-bound veterans have again experienced the thrill of hitting a baseball. Lonely and depressed seniors have found an opportunity to laugh, engage and belong.
The SABR Baseball Reminiscence Chartered Community invites you to join this effort to share baseball memories and help make those who feel that they don’t belong, belong. Experienced SABR volunteers can provide resources and personal assistance to help you start a program in your community. Other volunteer roles include, just to name a few: talk about your favorite player or team, share some memorabilia, help with technology, or capture and share a memory of your own in pictures or video. You will find the experience to be both enjoyable and rewarding.
Here are some recaps of baseball reminiscence programs organized by SABR volunteers:
- Los Angeles SABR chapter launches BasebALZ program to bring baseball therapy to Alzheimer’s patients
- Talking Baseball at Dell Diamond in Texas
- Learn more about the SABR Rogers Hornsby Chapter’s BasebALZ program in Texas
Announcements: To sign up for email announcements from this community, click here to select from the list of communities, then click “Join Group” () at the top of the community page. All SABR members are eligible to sign up for announcements from any chartered community.