With hat, shirt and whistle strapped on, Steven Dulcie (who was tagging along with his brothers) became the go-to-guy for campers needing answers to the many housekeeping questions that sprang up at the sessions.
While many of the athletes didn’t at first fully get the significance of Steven’s participation, they grew to embrace and enjoy his coaching and authority style.
“I told the players Steven was the coach who could help them, so they would ask their questions, and he would answer with his telltale ‘Yep,'” explained Watson recently.
“He loved being a part of our camps, and we counted on his presence. It was meaningful for us all.”
Steven, a twin to brother Gray and younger brother to David and Matthew Dulcie, has down syndrome, but no limitation on his love of, or exposure to the great game. Steven has overcome several heart surgeries, and despite a lack of speech, he is thriving. He has played soccer and “attended more baseball games than most of us will in our lifetime,” according to his mother, Deedra. He’s an expert at movies and loves music and dancing. Deedra and husband Jeff, praise Steven’s strong work ethic at their country home in Glen Rose, Texas.
And now, Steven has achieved one more milestone.
This year he is the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s 2014 Ambassador, and will enjoy a starring role in Global’s upcoming Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show in Denver, October 25, a fundraiser that benefits the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.
Watson, co-founder of Complete Athlete and current Texas state director of the US Baseball Network, has been invited to speak about his time with Steven at the TCU camps, Thursday, September 26, in Glen Rose to help benefit Global’s efforts. According to Watson, it was an honor to get the invite, and a chance to share the joy of having Steven alongside and on the field.
Steven’s mom, Deedra shared Steven’s story online recently and pointed to the same conclusion, saying Steven brings to anyone who gets to know him Joy with a capital ‘J.
Just ask any of the hundreds of youth players that came through those camps, and you’ll hear a resounding (and well-deserved) “Yep.”
For information on sponsoring a table or tickets to the Denver event, or to learn more and support the organization, please visit the site bebeautifulbeyourself.org. Photo courtesy bebeautifulbeyourself.org