The Lonestar Roadrunners are the official Beep Baseball team for the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex, consisting of all blind and visually impaired baseball players. Formed in 1978, the team competes with other Texas teams from Tyler, Austin, Houston, Bryan-College Station and San Antonio in regional tournaments. The annual Beep Baseball World Series brings together teams from across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. The Lonestar Roadrunners will again compete in this year's World Series, to be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the end of July- beginning of August 2019.
In 1978, the Telcom Pioneers donated some beepballs to the Tarrant County Lighthouse for the Blind for a recreation night. Pioneers Jim Chestnut and Don Holliman went to the 1978 Beep Baseball World Series and were talked into sponsoring a competitive team.
Early players included Lighthouse employees Pete Parra, Ivry Walker, Leonard Walker, Jerry Burns, Roy Eubanks, and other players were Scott Hudson and Jerry Cuckerell. The efforts of the Lighthouse’s Wayne Pound were a mainstay for the RoadRunners for the next 22 years.
After a third place in the Pioneers first Beep Baseball World Series in 1979, the RoadRunners reached the championship game eight times and won three in 1980, 1983, and 1991.
The team was inactive from 2002 until winter of 2009 when player Sam McKinzie contacted Graham Mathenia, and asked if he would be interested in pitching with some of the players for batting practice.
From 2010-2013, the team would go as a team or play with other teams like Austin Blackhawks and Colorado Storm. Since 2014, the team has been able to send consecutive teams to the World Series and continues its determination to attend each World Series.
Current RoadRunner players now include Lighthouse for the Blind employees Andrew Bernet, Ozzy Calamaco, Anivar “Pedro” Garcia, Dennis Lynch, and Josh Perry. Besides playing, the players recruit players and volunteers, participate at events like the Annual Sports Extravaganza, speak with organizations like Camp Abilities and Camp Carter, share the sport by attending meetings with organizations like Lion’s Club, and play against others such as the Dallas Baptist University baseball team.
The goal of the team is to not only play a game that they love and attend its world series, but to share their stories and show that nothing is impossible.
Picture of Roadrunners players under canopy at the 2012 Beep Baseball World Series in Ames, Iowa