FAIRFIELD - A boy who wasn't expected to live past the age of 1 celebrated his fifth season of Little League Saturday, marking an emotional milestone with a little fun.

At the start of each inning, Ethan Takacs, 9, a member of the Fairfield County Orthodontics team, rounded the bases with some assistance from loved ones. His supporters say his presence on the ballfield and in their lives is nothing short of a miracle.

He was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at 3 months old. SMA is a progressive genetic disorder that affects the control of muscle movement, but it doesn't affect the mind.

SMA affects approximately one in 6,000 to one in 10,000 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Ethan's parents, Jason and Kelly Takacs, are grateful that he is almost 10 years old, saying that they "just take it one day at a time." And that includes baseball.

"Before his first game of the season, he was up at 4 o'clock in the morning in his room making noise and calling for me," said Kelly. "I came in and said, 'Your game is not 'til later,' but he knew it was time. He wanted to get that uniform on and it's amazing."

Ethan's team won the game Saturday.