It’s intimidating enough for any boy to be invited to handle the ceremonial first pitch at a professional game, but the internet has taken notice of 9-year-old Gabe Davis’ stellar throw at a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game Thursday.
Gabe was born without legs. However, that didn’t stop the Cleveland, Ohio, native from throwing one right down the middle into the glove of Myrtle Beach catcher and designated hitter Tyler Alamo.
Video of the pitch had been viewed nearly 5,000 times Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after being posted on the Pelican’s Facebook page.
It shows Gabe as fearless, winding up and throwing the strike, lifting himself slightly off the ground in the process. He then got a standing ovation from fans in the stands, prompting Gabe to take a bow on the plate.
Gabe reportedly also did a handstand for the crowd, before heading off to meet the team for autographs, reported TV station WECT.
Fans praised the boy and the team on Facebook Friday. “Look at that smile! So Amazing. Great pitch, too,” posted Angela Brant.
Gabe was born with severe leg deformities and is unable to walk without the assistance of crutches and/or prosthetic legs. He joined the Davis family at the age of three, and since then has endured countless medical visits and surgeries, reported TV station WPDE.
Gabe was in town with his family for his brother’s baseball tournament, it was reported.
“He’s been working for three years to learn how to throw,” Davis’ father, Ryan told the Myrtle Beach Sun News. “So that’s a big thing for him, when you learn how to throw and catch, you can play on a typical team.”