Little Leaguer with rare disease makes special homecoming

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FAIRFIELD -

Years of tradition for a Fairfield Little Leaguer with a condition similar to Lou Gehrig's disease ended Tuesday night with a walk-off that wowed his mother.

Ethan Takacs has SMA type 1. Players in the Fairfield National Little League have a special tradition of taking him around the bases at the top of every inning.

But Ethan will soon turn 13 and age out of his Little League division, so members of his community turned out Tuesday to make his final trip across home plate special. Dozens of players accompanied him around the diamond.

"You put your 5-year-old on a team, you hope they will make friends," says Kelly Takacs, Ethan's mother, who first signed him up eight seasons ago. "But this has been so much more."

His parents say they never imagined he would outgrow the tradition because most children diagnosed with SMA type 1 live for only a few years.

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