Sports

Jul 13, 2010 6:20 PM by Jordan Mason

Emma Eberhart: A story of acceptance and sportsmanship

It's an average Tuesday night at a Pueblo baseball field, but one team is unique. And not because the Lady Legends are the only all-girls team in their league.

They're unique because for one six-year old girl, it's one of the most exciting nights of her life.

"Even driving home after the first game, I said to my husband, wow, we got to do a regular family thing," said Teresa Eberhart.

Emma Eberhart has Angelman syndrome, which means she can hear, but doesn't have the ability to speak. She communicates with a computer.

"I use my glove to catch the ball," said Emma.

She also has to use a walker because of balance problems.

Her parents hoped to connect her with other kids, so they signed her up for this t-ball league. And you'd never know that Emma didn't know anybody on the team before the season began. Her teammates have embraced her.

"I have new friends on my t-ball team," said Emma.

But it's not just her own teammates rooting for Emma. With the assistance of her mom and her had cheering her on, Emma swings and hits the ball.

The coach's son runs by her side to first base.

"Every time she goes to bat, she points to me," said Blaise Clemente. "And so I help her run."

And the other team allows her to reach first base, an act of sportsmanship to the highest degree. She eventually makes it all the way home.

Emma Eberhart finishes the day with three hits and three runs scored.

"I may never get to see my child perform at halftime," said Teresa Eberhart, Emma's mom. "Just simple things like that, so to see her out here playing is a dream come true in many ways."

The game is over. Emma shakes hands with the other team.

And on an average Tuesday night in Pueblo, as what her mother said, Emma finally gets a chance to just be a kid.

 

Emma frequently smiles, which is also a feature of Angelman syndrome.

Emma's dad, Pat Eberhart, is the coach of the CSU-Pueblo men's basketball team.

 

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