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Edgar Beardsley, 61; Founded Little League for Disabled Children

November 30, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Edgar P. "Ed" Beardsley, 61, who was credited with founding a Little League division for children with disabilities, died Tuesday at a hospital in Bristol, Conn. The cause of death was not announced.

Born in Rutland, Vt., Beardsley graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in accounting. He lived in the Bristol area most of his adult life and worked as a self-employed accountant.

In 1986, Beardsley began playing ball with his 8-year-old son David and four other disabled children. Word spread about what he was doing, and within three years, mentors were doing the same in other states.

Little League officials took on the idea in 1989, and made it the Challenger Division. Today, more than 20,000 disabled athletes are in the program nationwide.

Beardsley later started a basketball program for children with disabilities.

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