Alexander Morose, Central Reform Congregation

Alexander Morose (in purple shirt) volunteered with Challenger Baseball for his mitzvah project.

Alexander Morose has been playing baseball since he was four years old. So it was no surprise when he chose to volunteer last summer with St. Louis Challenger Baseball, a special league for youth and adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Son of Amy and Mark Morose of Ladue, Alexander started out thinking this would be mostly about baseball. But, he quickly learned after the first game day it was much more about building relationships with special kids.

As a “buddy,” Alexander, a student at Ladue Middle School, assisted Challenger players both at bat and in the field. He pushed them in wheelchairs around the base paths, helped them swing the bat and catch the ball – all with the crowd cheering. Most of all, volunteers like Alexander helped provide lots of encouragement, social interaction and ongoing friendships with the players.

“Many times the children needed help getting from base to base, and staying ‘in’ the game,” said Alexander’s mother. “He learned through patience and experience that it was OK to just live in the moment, whether it had to do with baseball or not. The smiles and laughter were all he needed to keep him coming back each Saturday,” she continued.

The fundamental goal of Challenger Baseball is to give everyone a chance to play. To realize that goal, Challenger has two basic rules: every player bats each inning, and every player plays the field. They don’t count strikes, and they don’t count outs. Everybody scores, and everybody wins. All players are named All-Stars and all receive trophies at a picnic at the end of the season.

Now in its 17th season, Challenger Baseball has 46 teams – with 16 in St. Louis. For more information, call Buck Smith at 314-822-2518 or visit