Middle Tennessee children with special needs will swing for the fences on Saturday at Greer Stadium when Dave Clark, the only professional baseball player to have pitched and played from crutches, hosts Disability Dream Day Baseball Camp in partnership with the Nashville Sounds. Belmont University Center for Executive Education students worked closely with the Dave Clark Foundation and the Sounds to launch the camp in Nashville.
“We are thrilled to work with Belmont University to bring the Disability Dream Day to Nashville for the first time,” said Clark, who contracted polio at 10-months-old yet went one to become a Major League Baseball pitcher and first baseman. “The Nashville Sounds have stepped up to the plate to welcome Middle Tennessee’s disability community to Greer Stadium. Without a doubt, this will be an inspiring day for everyone involved.”
As part of the Belmont Executive Leadership program, executives enrolled in CEE are organizing, managing and facilitating the disability camp in partnership with the Dave Clark Foundation and the Sounds. Among them are Belmont’s Director of University Marketing and Special Initiatives Annie Mitchell, Assistant Provost of Assessment & Institutional Research Tracy Rokas and Director of Undergradate Studies in Nursing Martha Buckner.
“The leaders who participate in our program are already making a difference in Middle Tennessee, but we saw this as an opportunity where they can further develop their leadership skills while impacting an important segment of our community,” said CEE Executive Director Gene Mage. “We’re honored to play a role in bringing the disability camp and Dave Clark’s inspiring story to Nashville.”
In conjunction with the baseball camp, middle school students Jared Stevens and Justin Kievit will receive the Dave Clark: Pulling Each Other Along Award. The award honors the notable contributions of people who have helped individuals achieve their dreams under exceptional circumstances. Stevens, who has cerebral palsy, wrested Justin Kievit last fall and a video of their wrestling match received national recognition.