“More than just a game,” Autism Awareness Challenge will feature 70 baseball and softball teams from across New Jersey this weekend

Just like last year, it’s the biggest it’s ever been.

The 2023 Autism Awareness Challenge returns this weekend to North Brunswick’s Community Park, where there will be a full slate of 20 baseball games and 15 softball games played over three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

That’s 35 games, 70 teams, just like last year.

Are we having fun yet?

The whole thing started in 2008 with just eight teams from the Greater Middlesex Conference, founded by Mike Garlatti, who heads up Baseball Warehouse in Highland Park. A scout for the Colorado Rockies, Garlatti also was a Rutgers assistant under Fred Hill on the 1990 team that missed a trip to the College World Series by just one game.

When it started in 2008, there were just eight Greater Middlesex Conference teams taking part.

Garlatti started the Teamwork Unlimited Foundation a couple of years after the initial 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 recapping last year’s event.

Follow Team Work Unlimited Foundation on Twitter at @teamworkunlimit for schedule updates and more, including how to make a donation.

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