John James stepped to the plate, doffed his cap to the crowd, took his stance and went through a couple of practice swings. Then he drove the softball off the tee and straight down the third base line.
Everybody cheered, even the team in the outfield that would not have been so thrilled with his base hit, if Saturday’s game had been regulation softball. But it wasn’t. It was the opening day of the opening season of Buddy Ball of Ruston, a softball league for special-needs children.