DURHAM, N.C. -- More than 50 kids on the autism spectrum got to partake in America's pastime with some of the best baseball players in the state on Saturday.

  • Baseball Bonanza hosted more than 50 kids with autism for a day of baseball
  • Kids got to play on the Jack Coombs field with Duke baseball players
  • Organized in collaboration with Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development

Duke's "Baseball Bonanza" was a collaboration between the Duke baseball team and the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. The kids got to test their skills at Jack Coombs Field and learned from Duke players and coaches about the art of the game.

Both Duke baseball head coach Chris Pollard and Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development director Dr. Geraldine Dawson say it was great to let the kids be kids on the field.

"When you're out here on the field, everybody has the same goal," said Pollard. "To learn, to grow, to get better, to have fun and enjoy the participation."​

This is the first time the baseball team has cooperated with the Center for Autism and Brain Development.

"Autism is a condition where often kids have trouble interacting socially and communicating with others, but there's something about sports that can bring everybody together," added Dr. Dawson. "It's that great equalizer."

The center did a similar event last year with Duke's women's basketball team.

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