New York Boy With Down Syndrome Struts His Stuff After Hitting Home Run
Young Billy showed impressive dance moves after hitting a home run.
A boy with Down syndrome is now an internet star thanks to a viral video showing him busting some impressive moves after slamming a home run in a game for special needs children.
Billy, of New York's Long Island, was playing for the first time in the League of Yes, a sports group for children of all ages with disabilities, when he stepped to the T-ball plate and sent the ball flying.
The video "is absolutely adorable. He's absolutely adorable," Kristine Fitzpatrick told InsideEdition.com Thursday. She started the league in 2010 as an opportunity for disabled kids to hang out and play baseball.
"It's non-competitive. Every kid gets an at-bat and they all hit home runs," she says. Volunteers get the players fired up and run the bases with them.
When playing the outfield, the children's mandate is all about "play." They play "Duck, Duck, Goose" or just run around dancing and cavorting with the volunteers.
In Billy's video, the volunteers were from St. John's University in New York City. The students taught Billy a series of dance moves, then screamed their heads off when he stepped into the batter's box. After he swatted the ball, they hooted and hollered as they rounded first, second and third with Billy.
Then, as he headed toward home, Billy stopped in the baseline and began shaking his moneymaker. There were several steps in his repertoire, including some arm swinging reminiscent of the ridiculously popular "Backpack Kid."
When Billy stomped his foot on home plate, the students fell backward in staged awe. Billy was ecstatic.
"It was like he won the Olympics," Fitzpatrick said. "He felt like he was the man. He just goes around now telling everyone he's famous."
To protect his family's privacy, she did not release his last name, and she doesn't know his age.
Meanwhile, the video she posted on Facebook has been viewed more than 400,000 times.
"I'm getting calls from people in California, people in Georgia, all over the country and they want to open their own league," she said.
Fitzpatrick has two grown sons who are not disabled. The Long Beach mother said she got the idea of forming a special-needs baseball league while doing volunteer work.
"I met this little boy with cerebral palsy," she said. "His friend hit the ball for him and then wheeled him around the bases. His smile was the sweetest thing I've seen. So I just fell in love."
She managed to convince local officials to fund two handicapped baseball diamonds. One is on asphalt, the other has artificial turf. Wheelchairs and walkers can navigate both. She started with a volunteer staff of 30. Last year, she had more than 1,400. They come from high schools, colleges, local groups and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.
She hopes the attention from Billy's video leads to more leagues in disparate parts of the U.S. She also hopes it means more special needs kids spending time with each other and feeling special about themselves.
"It's been my dream to make this a national thing," she said. "The kids just want to play."
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