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Teen with autism known as 'Baseball Kid' a big hit at the ballpark

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: May 13 2013 08:51:31 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

He's known to his fans only as "Baseball Kid," but how he came into that title is the real story.

Devin DeReis, 18, is a Cooper High School junior. He was diagnosed with autism when he was only 18-months-old.

This year, when he didn't get selected to be his school's mascot, his mother took things into her own hands.

This is where "Baseball Kid" comes in. He's a friendly sports fan who passes out candy and enthusiasm at his little brother's little league games.

"It was a big surprise the first time we saw him," said baseball fan, Anne Martin. "Everybody seems delighted by it, especially the kids," she said.

Living with autism his whole life hasn't been easy for DeReis. But at the ballpark, he's invincible.

"You know, he's private, he wants to be this undercover superhero," said Devin's mother, Elaine Marez. "He gets in the back of the Suburban and he takes that hat off and he goes, 'Mom, did you see those kids? They loved me! I was famous!'"

Marez just wants her son to experience life as any other teenager would.

"I don't ever want to have to put a sign on my son that says, 'Please forgive me, but I have autism,'" Marez said.

But autism is the last thing you see in Devin...most people just see superhero.