Ed Taylor was just starting something very important a few years ago when a doctor had some bad news for him.
News that would have stopped most of us, but it didn't matter to Ed.
He kept at it. And for what he created, Ed Taylor just won the prestigious Jefferson Award.
On a sunny Saturday morning, the baseball field in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park is full of happy, smiling players. And more happy, smiling volunteers who are helping them out.
Ed Taylor is the announcer, introducing each one of the special needs adults as they come up to bat. Every one gets a hit. Every one rounds the bases. And every one scores.
Every one is a special needs adult who had no way to play baseball until Ed Taylor started the Lone Star Play Ball League.
"These youngsters in their mind, not in their bodies, but in their mind, love to play and have fun in a trusting environment," Ed tells me.
And he knows first-hand. Ed started the league after his grandson, Tyler, turned 18 and became too old to play in the Challenger League, for special needs children.
"We're uncertain of the future like many parents and grandparents that are caregivers," Ed says. "We don't know what's gonna happen down the road so we're taking today and enjoying it."
Taylor started Lone Star Play Ball with just two teams. Now there are eight and it's growing.
"And we know lives have been changed and touched by this," Ed says.
Lives like Justin Tackett's.
"It's fun! It's good!" the young man says, leaning into the microphone."
Justin's mother, Myra Anderson, is beaming just a few feet away and says the league means everything to her and her son.
"Because our kids don't get to do what other people do. "For instance with my son, he loves baseball. All his life he's wanted to play. And when we found this team, his dream came true."
"And that's how it is for all these kids," Anderson says. "They finally get to do what others get to do."
The non-profit league pairs up special needs adults with volunteers who help them both on and off the field.
Most of the volunteers are students from Trinity University and the University of the Incarnate Word.
Brianna Sanchez is on the UIW softball team. "It's awesome for us just to help out other people and it's fun just being here and seeing them smile and like have a good time."
"There's not a lot of activities our kids can do in the community that involves other people," Anderson says. "So they're somewhat isolated. And as a family we get isolated, so this is just... I'm speechless. (Ed) is just a wonderful person to do this."
By now we've completely forgotten that Ed Taylor started this when he was fighting cancer.
Randy Holt is the league director. "About a month before we started our first game three years ago, Ed was diagnosed with lung cancer went through major surgery," Holt says. "I don't think he's missed a Saturday. He's out here every week."
"We couldn't be doing this ithout Ed. Ed's really got a heart for this."
Ed shrugs off the recognition. "I didn't have any brains to do this. It wasn't even my idea. The league belongs to the volunteers, the players, the parents. It's their league. All we are is facilitators.
"We raise a few dollars, put together a website and invite them to come and play. And they have."
And they and their parents are having the time of their lives. It's impossible to describe the smiles all around as the players cross home plate.
Holt says Ed is the heartbeat of it. "This league was his vision. He's the one that started it. He does most of the work."
Myra Anderson calls Ed an inspiration. "Because he has devoted his life to taking care of his grandson and making sure that his grandson is part of the community. And his efforts to involve everybody is... it's amazing.
Justin Tackett leans into the microphone again before getting back to the game. He sums it up better than anyone else.
"It's awesome!" he says. "Rock on!"