Oct. 8, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane baseball will take a break from their regular fall practice schedule on Saturday to welcome St. Michael Special School to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium for their 19th-annual softball game.
Each year, St. Michael Special School - located on Chippewa St. - visits the Tulane baseball program during fall camp to play a series of softball games on the same field Tulane will play their home games during the season.
The Tulane players and coaches accompany the students from the school on the field as they play their classmates. The teams are separated by age groups, and each student will have a Tulane baseball player or coach in the batter's box or in the field with them to teach them the aspects of the game.
Nineteen years ago, some former Tulane baseball players who had a connection to the St. Michael Special School, proposed the softball game as a community project for the team. Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones backed the idea, as his wife, Gina, worked with special education students in the Jefferson Parish School System.
"The late Ms. Jane Silva, who was the principal at St. Michael Special School as well as a Tulane alumna, played a tremendous part in putting this together," said Tulane baseball head coach Rick Jones. "The current principal, Susan Munster, along with the sponsorship from Randy King and FedEx, have helped keep this going."
In addition to the softball games that will be held Saturday, the Tulane baseball team will visit St. Michael Special School to play with the children on the playground while also touring the campus with the students.
"I know the kids from St. Michael look forward to this every year, but our program really does too," added Jones. "It's one of the most special days of our year."
St. Michael Special School is dedicated to helping students with major learning disabilities and special educational needs. The school provides students with a high quality education, as well as social, vocational and physical training.