Local boy has become CSI Baseball's biggest hero

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Jacob Bottinger has the spirit of any other nine year-old boy. He loves baseball and debating superheroes.

"Well Ironman is better than Captain America."

Except Bottinger has muscular dystrophy, a debilitating disease that affects every muscle in the human body.

"He could walk maybe a half a mile before he gets tired and fatigued, developmentally he's at five year old," explained his mother, Sarah Bottinger. "It affects everything it does, if he gets sick, it's usually worse than most people. His condition is compared to Lou Gehrig's disease."

College of Southern Idaho assistant baseball coach Nick Aiello heard about Jacob through the Twin Falls Fire Department's Fill the Boot campaign.

In August, KMVT interviewed Sarah at the site of Fill the Boot and she said of the firefighters, "to come out here and do this in the sun in the heat."

The team held an intra–squad scrimmage earlier this fall as a fundraiser for MDA.

Sophomore Jace Keema added, "it's crazy to see how much one individual can impact a whole team. We're truly grateful for it."

Jacob said, "the players are playing baseball to find the cure, when they get home runs, we can find the cure."

They also gave Jacob this signed jersey with his favorite number."

"I like five!"

His mother Sarah has an adult onset version of muscular dystrophy that wasn't discovered until her pregnancy.

"When we do big events like the MDA walk, neither of us walked, we were in wheelchairs."

But when a program like CSI Baseball committed to their family, she was shocked.

"When I came the day to meet the players and meet Nick for the first time, it was just I asked him, how long are you really in for this, Sarah asked. "Are you in for a day or are we in for the long haul? He said you have me for as long as you want me."

When it comes to the game of baseball, Jacob is just one of the guys.

"When you put your bat to the ball, it works every time."
"What do you think of this guy?"
"What do you think about me, man?"
"Hmm... I think he's funny."

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