RICHLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Like most kids, Taylor Wheat has her reasons for playing the sport she loves.
“I like having the bat in my hands,” said Taylor, who’s 9 years old. “I like being behind the plate.”
However, unlike most girls her age, Taylor isn’t talking about softball. She plays baseball.
“I play catcher, pitcher, second and outfielder,” Taylor said.
She prefers suiting up with the catcher’s mask.
“There’s just more action behind the plate,” Taylor said.
She competes with the B45s, a 9U boys baseball team in Richland.
“They treat me like just like one of the teammates,” Taylor said.
She’s a standout player — and not because she’s a girl playing with the boys.
“We are so proud,” her mother Beth said. “We brag a lot, probably more than a lot of people and maybe sometimes more than what we should.”
Taylor recently competed in the Baseball For All national tournament in Rockford, Illinois. It’s an event featuring female baseball players from across the country. She was the only Michigan native in her age group and helped her team win the national championship.
There’s one more catch for Taylor. She’s also hard of hearing and uses hearing aids to overcome that obstacle on and off the field.
“Just because you’re different doesn’t mean you have to stop playing what you love,” she said.
“I think over the years she’s learned to deal with the hand she’s dealt,” her mom said. “I just want to see her succeed however long she wants to play.”