Little Leaguer Not Deterred by Disease

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Ed Yeates ReportingIf you think little leaguers sometimes have a tough time learning the skills of baseball, try playing the game on your knees!

For a 9-year old Utah boy there's no other way.

Ryan Larson was born with spina bifida. Playing catch with his brother Samson made him want to play this game. So wheelchairs and canes aside, temporarily at least, Ryan dropped to his knees, batting, pitching and scooting with the Holladay Baseball League.

Ryan Larson: "I felt like I could do it, and I just started. I'm getting a lot better."

It was hard at first, especially for Ryan's father who coaches the team.

Wayne Larson, Ryan's father: "It was a little hard as a parent to watch your son do that. But then you just have to sit back and you see other parents just think it's great and are really supportive, and you just let go of your own feelings, and just let it happen."

Ryan's best friend was surprised as well.

Garrett Hansen, best friend: "I like it because it just seems like wow, he can do a lot more stuff than you think he could; and you think they would be mean to him because he's different, but they're not."

Libby Larson, Ryan's mother: "After a few times around the bases or a few pitches, everyone is just cheering him on."

Hitting the ball on his knees, running the bases on his knees - and it's not just baseball. Ryan also plays basketball and sledge hockey.

His message to other kids like him who think they can't.

Ryan: “Just keep on trying"

Ryan's dream someday is to play in the Paralympics.

Chris Peterson who heads up the Holladay Baseball League says league coaches all agree: "Let this team play for Ryan and play for the fun of the game."

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