The Indy Thunder was formed in January
of 2000 as a recreational team. Throughout that year the Thunder
practiced/played intersquad games. The Thunder at that time consisted
of players from throughout the state of Indiana and the neighboring
state of Illinois. The founder of the Thunder is Darnell Booker. The
corner stones at that time for the Thunder were James Michaels, and
Hall of Fame player Ron Brown. Yes these guys were up there in years
mid 30's and early 40's. Darnell Booker was coach/player/pitcher for
the first 8 years. The team got players through the blind school where
Booker worked and Bosma where James worked and by word of mouth. That
year we had between 8 to 10 players and 5 to 6 volunteers. Booker
bought the only set of bases in 1999. He still has these old school
bases today and through repair they still work!
In 2001 the INDY Thunder joined the NBBA and turned this recreational
team into a competitive team. Along with joining the NBBA the INDY
Thunder regional tournament was born. The original tournament consisted
of 4 teams, The Indy Thunder, Chicago Comets, Cleveland Scrappers and
the Columbus Vipers. As of today this tournament still consists of the
first 3. In other years the tournament also consisted of the Chicago
Bluffs, Kansas All Stars, St. Louis Firing Squad. The 3 main stays in
this regional tournament are the Thunder, Comets, and Scrappers. The
Thunder attended their first World Series which was held in Cleveland.
We also went to Chicago where their tournament was also born that year.
The 2002 season was a year where the interest of Beepball was starting
to catch on in the Indy area, especially on the Northside of town in
the Broadripple Area. We held our regional tournaments in Broadripple
Park the first weekend in June which has remained to this day. Slowly
but surely more sponsors started to back the team whether it was
in-kind donations or financial donations. We also increased our
volunteers. During that year we went to the series which was held in
Chicago. The Thunder still had to pay their dues.
2003 The team is beginning to see growth by adding a tournament to its
schedule which was held in Cleveland. The team also went to Columbus,
Ohio. During that year we only did 4 regional tournaments and later
players were picked up by other teams to help them compete in the World
Series which was held in Denver, Colorado.
2004 Was the year that the Indy Thunder finally broke through on the
scene as the team grew with players, volunteers and sponsors. We had a
complete season doing 4 regional Tournaments and attending the World
Series in Columbus, Ohio. It was a real eye opener we learned a lot. It
was a pretty good season, we finished 9th in the world.
2005 The team was getting better and the sport was growing in the Indy
area. We were getting better each and every year. We won some games in
our regional tournament that year. We even won a few World Series games
which was a huge accomplishment. The World Series that year was in
2006 Was a pretty good year for the Thunder. We won our own Tournament
and we finally beat our rival the Chicago Comets in Indy and once in
Chicago. Plus we finished in the top 10 in the World Series which was
held in Cleveland, Ohio. This finish started a trend where the Thunder
has been a top ten team in the world 9 out of the last ten years.
2007 The Thunder continued to get better as a team and organization. We
added more players and sponsors and we finished in the top 10 in the
World Series which was held in Rochester, Minnesota.
2008 was the season the team was growing player-wise and
sponsorship-wise. The highlight of that Season was that we had a bench.
The team landed a big time sponsor for the next 3 years, RHI. The team
name changed to the RHI-Indy Thunder and that was the last year Darnell
Booker played full time as a player. He was mainly pitching,coaching
and fundraising. RHI was a part of the thunder through the 2010 season
and after that year we went back to the original name Indy Thunder.
2009 The team had a great year doing very well in the regional
tournaments and had a good showing at World Series in Stockton,
California. Steve Michaels made the all offensive team batting .708 for
the World Series,3rd best! During the 2009 World Series a dream had
come true. Darnell Booker and Merri Taylor brought forward a
presentation to the Board, and afterwards the city of Indianapolis was
awarded to host the World Series in 2011. This was a dream of Darnell's
that came to fruition. The hard work since 2000 had paid off with all
the regional tournaments and the backing of sponsorship and good
volunteers. Darnell feels that since the World Series was in
Indianapolis, that Beepball will always be apart of Indy sports
The Thunder had their best season in team history where we finished 6th
in the world! Beepball is now been revived in Indy and it is here to
stay. More players and sponsors continued to come on board.
2011 The Thunder had a lot going on that year. The season consisted of
the regional tournaments and putting on a World Series. The Thunder
that year was a team in transition. This was the only year in a decade
we finished out of the top ten. The Thunder finished 12th. The
highlight of that year was that Ron Brown retired as a full time player
and was elected into the Beepball Hall of Fame here in Indy. Ron's
offensive numbers were off the chart when he played full time. For 33
years he played Beepball full time for various teams in Indiana plus he
won a World Series in 1990 along with Darnell. A year to remember.
2012 The Thunder got back to its winning ways. We finished 7th in the
World Series in Ames, Iowa. We had Jason Ackiss named to the
all-defensive team as a member of the Thunder! He came over for the
week from Carolina and really helped our team for the week. The Thunder
added lots of new players that year and we played pretty well together.
2013 The Thunder remained steady, had a great year sponsorship-wise and
player-wise. We finished 7th out of 20 teams in the World Series in
Columbus, Georgia. One of the highlights of that season is Dave Benney
was runner up on the all-Defensive team. One thing about Georgia, it
was very very hot!
2014 The season was a step back for the Thunder. Yes we kept our top
ten streak alive by finishing 10th in the World Series held back in
Rochester, Minnesota. Again the Thunder add a few new players and
sponsors. We also picked up a few players from Cleveland that helped
strengthen our bench during the week of the World Series. The Thunder
will work hard to be that team in 2015!
2015 The Thunder had a very good year. We had a lot of new young
players on the team and we did well in all of our Regional Tournaments.
At the World Series held in Rochester, New York, the team finished 8th.
24 games was the most games we have ever played in a season and we
finished 14-10 overall, including the World Series.
Off the field was also a great success because we acquired new
sponsors, including Lids, The Indianapolis Indians and the Finish Line
Youth Foundation. We also acquired several private donors, including
one which enabled us to launch our new website. Throughout the history
of Indy Thunder Beep Baseball, 3 teams have come from the Thunder Tree
including RHI-X-treme founded in 2011, The Indy Knights founded in
2015, and The Indy Edge which will debut in 2016. The Indy Thunder
wants to wish all these teams good luck in the future. The Thunder
would also, as always, like to thank all of our supporters, sponsors
Indy Thunder Beepball
The National Beep Baseball Association NBBA was organized in 1976 for
visually impaired adults to play baseball. Each year the NBBA
coordinates local, state, and regional tournaments, not least among
them the Indy Invitational in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Bolingbrook
Beep Ball Bash (one of the first tournaments to offer a cash award)
outside Chicago, Illinois, and in some cases a round robin tournament
in Columbus, Ohio, and, more recently, a round robin tournament in the
Philadelphia area. In August of each year the NBBA sponsors a national
and international invitational tournament. The 2007 World Series, as
the August invitational is known, was held, for the first time in
memory, in a city which hosts no beep baseball team, namely, Rochester,
Minnesota. More recently, the World Series has been held in Columbus,
Ohio in 2004, Houston, Texas in 2005, and in Cleveland, Ohio in 2006.
The World Series was held in Taiwan in 2000.
2016- The roar of the Thunder!
It was a magical season for the 2016 Indy Thunder Beepball team! The
season first started off by adding some key pieces to the club in early
to late March. We added more veteran leadership and a pitcher that had
been there before. These were the following: Adam Rodenbeck, Kyle
Lewis,Demielli Wright Clint Woodard, Ed Brown who rejoined the team
after a year absences. We also added the duo of Jared Woodard and Avery
Hunsaker, along with a key spotter that returned to the team Mirriah
Brown. The team as they do each year find talent, and they found A good
one! A big key to the club Gerald Dycus. Gerald was Rookie of the year.
What a great addition to our team. It was when Jared came aboard that
current pitcher Darnell Booker became a great insurance policy as a
back up pitcher. On we go with the season!
The season kicked off in St. Louis where the Thunder won there first
three games of the season and they would face the storm from Colorado
on title Sunday. It was a hard battle, the Thunder came up short 9-6.
That lost would be the Thunder's last lost of the entire season. The
Thunder learned from that lost. That was in early May!
The next tournament was the Indy Tournament the first wknd in June. The
team made history, winning there own tournament the first time in 10
years. They beat cross town rival the Indy Edge in the final.
The following wknd we move to Bolingbrook! It was there the team made
more history winning that tournament the first time in team history by
beating the defending champs the Austin blackhawks 11-10 in The bottom
of the 6th a walk off hit and score by veteran Diemelli Wright. That
was a great tournament to gage where the team was. It was a deep field
with the likes of Houston, Austin and Arizona and the cross time rival
And the last step was the World Series which took place in Ames, IA!
The team was preparing for a World Series run when they pick up a key
player that turned out to help the team. This guy was only with the
team for 5 weeks. What a big pick up Zack Buhler, boy did he pay huge
dividends. The team was focus all week long. The team knew they were a
good hitting ball club. It was a amazing week the defense showed up all
week! The team would face the Boston Renegades for the title. This was
a history making day! The thunder started 5 players under 20 years and
younger a first in a World Series championship game. This was a great
game for the the Thunder as they defeat the Renegades 18-6! To win
their first World Series in the 16 years of the organization. The team
claimed several individual awards. The best spotters in the world Lisa
Wright and Mirriah Brown, best pitcher catcher Jared Woodard/ Avery
Hunsacker. Clint Woodard was elected to the Hallof fame. Darnell Booker
was the first African American to win a World Series as a manger/ coach
in the 40 year history of the sport. The team also. Had three of the
best hitters in the world. Kyle Lewis, Zack Buhler and Gerald Dycus.
What a magical season!
The team now turns the page to 2017 and look to defend their title!
They know it's going to be tough but they embrace the target