Arm Bandits is a softball team in which 15 of 18 players are missing
an arm or part of an arm. Some players lost their arms in accidents
and some like Mr. Rosario, were simply born with one arm. Neither
Victor nor his teammates let their handicap stand in their way......
they compete in a modified C division fast pitch softball league
throughout Dade County that has no other disabled players
has been said that rival teams often freeze in awe when the Bandits
show off their incredible one-hand technique. Victor explained,
"Imagine, to get a grounder, you field it, but then you've got
to drop the glove grab the ball and throw it."
Recently, the team traveled to Venezuela to
play five games against the newly formed Bandidos de un Solo Brazo (One Arm
Bandits) in the first international games in the history of softball where two
teams with the use of only one arm competed against one another. The games,
eight in all, were televised throughout Venezuela as well as being broadcast
over the radio. These extraordinary games had over 2000 spectators at each game
enthusiastically cheering both teams.
The One Arm Bandits also were good-will
ambassadors as they visited Venezuelan children's hospitals in a continuing
effort to show that a giant heart can make up for a missing arm. Team members
are often quoted as saying, "God didn't give us all the limbs you need to
play baseball, maybe that's why he gave us a little bit more heart."
The team also visits local children's
hospital wards giving speeches and serving as role models. They have been
recognized in local and international media for being the first team of its kind
and have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, N.
Not limiting themselves to one handicap, the
One Arm Bandits - with the assistance of Metro-Dade Parks - established a
"Beep Softball " program. For the first time, blind children in Dade
are able to plan, softball by listening to the beep of the oncoming ball
and competing like other children do.
Our Victor Rosario and the One Arm Bandits
are testimony to the inspirational message "Yes, you can,"especially
to people who think they can't.