Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties was selected by Special Olympics Indiana as one of two county programs to participate in a unique experience at Victory Field, Indianapolis.  We have been given the opportunity to form a unified softball team and play Team Indiana’s unified softball team during The Carl Erskine Classic on Sunday, October 24th.  Team Indiana will be competing in the 2022 USA Games in Orlando next June. As part of this special opportunity, Special Olympics Indiana will be “Retiring the Number 17”; the number that Carl Erskine wore as a professional and World Series winning pitcher with the Dodgers.  That ceremony will take place immediately before the first game. This is a free event, open to the public so family and friends are welcome.


Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021

Location: Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians, 501 East Maryland Indianapolis, IN 46225

Gates Open: 10:00 am

Program: 12:00 pm

Game 1: Team Indiana vs. South All Stars (ROD Counties)

Game 2: Team Indiana vs. North All Stars (Howard County)


A native of Anderson Ind., Carl Erskine enjoyed a successful Major League Baseball career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers between 1948 and 1959. He pitched in five World Series, winning one in 1955 against the New York Yankees. He pitched two no-hit, no-run games, and led the National League in 1953 with 20 wins and six losses. He played baseball during an era of transformation—the introduction of night games, jet travel, television, and racial desegregation.

As a teammate and friend of Jackie Robinson, he witnessed how the silent perseverance of one man changed society. These lessons learned became part of his legacy when his son Jimmy was born with Down syndrome in 1960. In 2012 Carl wrote “The Parallel” which documents how Carl has seen society change for people with intellectual disabilities through the power of Special Olympics. Erskine has been involved with Special Olympics for more than forty years.  To obtain a copy of “The Parallel”, please contact Scott Furnish at Special Olympics Indiana at 800-742-0612 ext. 236.


The Indianapolis Indians are the professional Triple-A baseball club affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In continuous operation since 1902, the organization believes in creating affordable and memorable experiences for fans so they can grow closer together with family, friends and the community through the game of baseball. The Indians play their home games at Victory Field, a 13,750-seat ballpark located in downtown Indianapolis and White River State Park. The venue opened in 1996 and has received numerous national accolades as one of the best minor league ballparks in the United States. The team has led Minor League Baseball in combined total attendance over the past 10 seasons. In 2018, the organization was recognized as Ballpark Digest Team of the Year. It was also named a 2019 Best Places to Work by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The Indianapolis Indians have been proud partners with Special Olympics Indiana for over fifty years.

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