This Teenager With Down Syndrome Hit a Walk-Off Home Run, and His Reaction Said It All

From tee-ball to the major leagues, there's nothing like hitting a walk-off home run. The pure joy, the standing ovation, the ecstatic trot around the bases; we can hardly even imagine how it feels, but watching Alexis Rangel celebrate his walk-off home run in the Miracle League of Arizona gives us a pretty good idea. The 13-year-old came up to the plate with two on, two out, and his team trailing by two runs in the last inning. He took one look at the incoming pitch and smashed it over the left field fence, and his reaction said it all: fist in the air, total elation as he sprinted around the bases.

Making it even more special, it was Rangel's very first game in the competitive division of the Miracle League of Arizona, a 24-team baseball league for teens and adults with disabilities or special healthcare needs. (Games are now on hold due to the pandemic.) Rangel, who has Down syndrome, hit the blast back in February, and his reaction has gone viral since being posted on Twitter, even eliciting reactions and encouragement from Major Leaguers like Braves pitcher Mark Melancon and Pirates infielder Stephen Alemais. As for Rangel himself, his mom, Alejandra Cabrera, told 12News in Arizona that this reaction fits his personality to a T: "Everything he does, he does enthusiastically. He does it with pleasure . . . He's always excited." See that joy for yourself in the video above, and support the Miracle League of Arizona at its website.