When it started in 2008, there were just eight Greater Middlesex Conference teams taking part.
Thirteen years later – after a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 – this weekend’s Autism Awareness Challenge at North Brunswick’s Community Park will feature 40 high school baseball teams from all over the Garden State – including 16 from the GMC and another five from Somerset County.
The theme is “More than just a game,” says Mike Garlatti, who heads up Baseball Warehouse in Highland Park, is a Colorado Rockies scout, and is a former Rutgers assistant under the late Fred Hill on the team that was a win away from the College World Series in 1990).
Garlatti started the Teamwork Unlimited Foundation a couple of years after the 2008 event, which didn’t even have a fundraising component; it was simply dedicated to raising awareness about autism, after his son was diagnosed and found to be on the spectrum.
The Foundation now distributes money raised to autism support services and related groups. Scholarships are also handed out.
Garlatti spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio about this weekend’s event. Click below to listen, and scroll down for a YouTube video about the event, as well as this weekend’s full schedule:
2021 Autism Awareness Challenge
Friday, April 23
4 pm: Piscataway Tech vs Carteret, St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Spotswood
7 pm: South Plainfield vs. Millburn, Somerville vs. St. Joseph-Metuchen
Saturday, April 24
10 am: JP Stevens vs. Governor Livingston, Metuchen vs. Bernards
1 pm: Cranford vs. South Brunswick, Voorhees vs. West Morris
4 pm: Red Bank Catholic vs. Delbarton, Ridge vs. Mendham
7 pm: Randolph vs. Jackson, Middletown South vs. Ramapo
Sunday, April 25
10 am: Rahway vs. South Amboy, East Brunswick Tech vs. South River
1 pm: Gill St. Bernard’s vs. Livingston, Edison vs. Barnegat
4 pm: Holy Spirit vs. Pope John, Don Bosco Prep vs. Old Bridge
7 pm: Passaic* vs. Elizabeth, North Brunswick vs. Hillsborough
*Passaic was a late replacement for Sayreville.
Dates, times and matchups subject to change.
All games will be streamed on GameKast Live.
Follow Team Work Unlimited Foundation on Twitter at @teamworkunlimit for schedule updates and more, including how to make a donation.