NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) Newburgh Junior Baseball held their opening day Saturday. That means that Buddy Ball is back in action once a week.

Buddy Ball is an opportunity for people with special needs to play baseball. They get paired up with a companion that helps them play.

There are over 50 of volunteers that help put this together. The president of Buddy Ball, David Ernspiger and his family come out every week. His wife, Kristy, said what brings her back.

“Seeing everybody smile. And it gives the parents a break for an hour a week to just sit back and watch their kid enjoy it,” said Ernspiger.

Among the athletes is a 72-year-old who goes by the name of Mr. Joe. He was told all his life that he could never play baseball. Then he started coming to Buddy Ball five years ago, and proved them wrong. He loves the game.

“I love baseball. It’s what I love to do,” said Mr. Joe.

Yesterday, the organization received a van from a donation. It allow them to get even more players to the field that may have issues with transportation.

Even with the van, there is one thing left to improve the experience. It’s a turf field. President of Newburgh Junior Baseball Dave Schultz said it’s about accessibility.

“When it gets muddy and wet, they have more difficulty getting around the bases. They have to get wheelchairs and walkers around. So our goal is to get a turf field where they can play on that all season long, regardless of whether it’s wet or dry,” said Schultz.

Schultz said the field would cost an estimated $250,000. If you’d like to learn more about the organization, you can visit their website at