Challenger Division - 1990 to present

Bristol Sports Hall of Fame member Ed Beardsley, shown delivering the first pitch to officially kick off the “Challenger Division” of Little League Baseball in 1990 at Breen Field.On the right is “Dugout”, the official mascot of Little League Baseball. Dugout is congratulating the players as they are introduced to roaring ovations.
1990: Little League Baseball launches the first full season of the Challenger Division for mentally and physically disabled children. … Little League in now enjoyed by children in thirty-nine countries.
Sadly, Ed passed away in 2002. It is with great respect and admiration that the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame, on behalf children everywhere, we “Thank You.”


Bristol Press rewind from 2002
Here’s the first part of an editorial in The Bristol Press from that time this week:
“In Bristol and throughout the world of Little League Baseball, Edgar Beardsley and the Challenger Division are virtually synonymous. This laudatory program, initially the outgrowth of Beardsley’s desire to have his son, David, and a few other local youngsters with various disabilities play baseball now offers more than 25,000 children who 20 years ago would have been relegated to the sidelines a chance to participate in the national pastime.
“Sadly, Ed Beardsley passed away Tuesday. His death represents a great loss for his adoring family and countless friends as well as for many people who may not have experienced the privilege of knowing him personally but admire his efforts.”