In this competitive world, sportsmanship is still alive and well. At a time when zealous parents can make even children’s games extremely competitive, two Little League players showed that humanity should still reign in sports.
Little League players from opposing sides demonstrated their great character by proving that kindness and compassion can still be the norm in difficult competitions.
Two Little League World Series players shared a touching exchange after a difficult first encounter.
Kaiden Shelton, Pearland, Texas Little League pitcher threw the pitch that struck Oklahoma National Little League batters Isaiah (Zay) JarvisOn his right side, his helmet.
Jarvis was thrown to the ground and landed on his head. In a slow-motion review of the Little League game, the impact was most likely extremely painful since it basically knocked off Jarvis’ helmet.
It was a frightening moment for both the players and their families. Even sports commentators claimed that they were often struck by baseballs while athletes, but only rarely in the head.
Jarvis was able to continue playing despite the incident, but Shelton, a young pitcher was visibly shaken by the hit. He was clearly upset by the idea of injuring another player.
Shelton looked so depressed that Jarvis moved to first base to console the pitcher.
Jarvis was concerned that Jarvis might have suffered a concussion after he was hit. He was then unable to continue the game because of his concern. He could see Shelton crying, and he was unable to continue playing on the mound.
Jarvis called for a timeout and approached Jarvis to encourage him. He told Shelton, “Hey, you’re doing just great.”
Shelton recalled the moment and said, “I thought he was really hurt, but when he started walking up to me… it looked like he was better, but I thought he was going to throw a punch or something like that.
He hugged me and it made me feel a lot better about myself at that moment.” He added that Jarvis told him to “‘just throw strikes and take deep breaths.’”
At their age, the two boys embodied caring and compassion – 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 to provide comfort and reassurance.
Jarvis said, “I wanted to go up there because we’re pretty good friends… so I went up there and I gave him a hug. We’re all brothers… baseball, it’s just a game.”
People were amazed by the interaction and praised Little League’s empathy. One view commented, “These boys are what you want for your children to be like.”
Another added, “One willing to forgive and knows it wasn’t intentional and the other showing remorse and sorrow. It is a wonderful thing.!!”
Here’s a video of the emotional exchange
It was still a Little League game after all, and after regaining his composure, Shelton contributed to his team’s performance with two hits, two runs batted in and one run that he scored himself.
In the end, Pearland Little League won the six-inning match 9-4. This sent the Texas 12-and-under team as the Southwest’s representative to the Little League World Series.
This incredible moment proves that sports can be bigger than they think. Although it was just another Little League Game at first, many will remember this event as a moment of pure camaraderie and sportsmanship that is rare in a game.