In spite of the ruthless nature of the modern world, sportsmanship is still practiced. At a time when overly-competitive parents may even turn children’s activities into intensely competitive affairs, two Little League players demonstrated that humanity should still rule in the sporting world.
Little League players from opposite teams demonstrated outstanding character by demonstrating that compassion and kindness should still be the standard, even in the midst of intense competition. This demonstrates that compassion and kindness should be the norm, even in Little League.
A pitch from the pitcher for the Little League team, Kaiden Shelton.
At the Little League World Series, two players had a heartfelt chat with one another after a rough start to their matchup, which was captured on camera and has since gone viral.
During the game, a pitch thrown by Pearland, Texas Little League player Kaiden Shelton struck Oklahoma National Little League batter Isaiah (Zay) Jarvis on the right side of his helmet. Jarvis was playing for Oklahoma National Little League.
Jarvis was knocked to the ground while holding his head after being struck by such a powerful blow that it forced him to whirl around and fall to the ground.
Jarvis’ helmet was essentially dislodged in the collision, so it’s safe to assume that the hit was rather unpleasant for him. You can watch the Little League game in slow motion here.
Unluckily, the opposing player was struck in the head by the throw made by the pitcher.
It was a really tense time for everyone involved, including the athletes and their families. Even those who remark on sports have said that throughout their careers as players, they were hit or struck by baseballs rather often, although seldom in the head.
Jarvis was able to continue playing despite the incident, however Shelton, the young pitcher, seemed noticeably upset when he struck the batter. Jarvis was able to continue playing. He was visibly distressed by the prospect of hurting a teammate or competitor.
Jarvis abandoned his position at first base to go comfort Shelton since the pitcher seemed to be in a state of great distress.
After taking a blow to the head, Jarvis was concerned that he may have suffered a concussion and would be unable to continue playing for the remainder of the game due to a medical condition. However, a few seconds later, he was able to observe Shelton weeping and straining to continue playing on the pitching mound.
Jarvis went over to the pitcher after the time out was called and gave him some words of encouragement. He said to Shelton, “Hey, you’re doing really fine,” and Shelton agreed.
Shelton recounted the event and said, “I thought he was severely injured, but as he began coming up to me… it seemed like he was better, but I feared he was going to throw a punch or anything like that.” [Case in point:] when Shelton was heading up to him, he appeared to be better.
When he held me, it immediately improved how I felt about myself, which was really important to me at the time. He continued by saying that Jarvis had instructed him to “simply throw strikes and take deep breathes.”
The pitcher was so troubled that he had caused undue harm, and the victim, knowing that it was all an accident, showed his willingness to set aside competition in order to provide comfort and reassurance to the pitcher. The two boys exemplified the characteristics of caring and compassion at an age appropriate for them.
Jarvis was quoted as saying, “I wanted to go up there since we’re really close friends… so I walked up there and I gave him a hug.” We share the same blood… Baseball, it’s nothing more than a game.”
People were amazed by the encounter and commended the two Little League players for having empathy for one another. One perspective said, “Both of those lads are the kind of role models you want your children to have.”
Isaiah consoles Kaiden by assuring him that he will be alright in a display of good sportsmanship.
Another person chimed in, saying, “One is exhibiting guilt and grief, while the other is prepared to forgive and understands that it wasn’t intended.” I adore it!!”
Take a look at this intense conversation here:
Shelton, after recovering his calm and remembering that it was still a Little League game, contributed to the success of his team by collecting two hits, driving in two runs, and scoring one run on his own. He also contributed to the performance of his team by scoring one run.
Pearland Little League came out on top with a 9-4 victory after six innings of play. This qualified the Texas 12-and-under team to compete in the Little League World Series as the representative for the Southwest region.
This incredible event demonstrates that there are certain things in athletics that are larger than others. It was just another game in the Little League, but many are likely to remember this specific occurrence as one of the purest moments of friendship and sportsmanship they have ever witnessed in a game. This kind of thing is becoming unusual in today’s sporting events.