Baseball player with autism signs minor league contract with Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tarik El-Abour was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old and didn’t speak until he was 6.

But he fell in love with baseball at the age of 5, and at 25, he signed a minor league contract with the Royals, FOX4 Kansas City reports.

The routines and repeated rituals of the game gave El-Abour a sense of comfort and unbridled joy.

“Baseball and autism are very similar in terms of discipline and repetitiveness,” former Royals player and team special adviser Reggie Sanders said.

“It kind of goes hand-in-hand. It’s a beautiful thing when it can marry together.”