There is no denying that youth sports can get quite intense, causing players to get injured on the field. Monitoring from coaches can be necessary to tone down potential aggression during a game. In spite of all precautions, evading injury is sometimes difficult. This is where sportsmanship comes in. However, how the players handle such developments is important. It is not every day that you see players taking the initiative to comfort opponents hurt in unintentional developments. That is an example of true sportsmanship. Sometimes, humanity does overshadow team rivalries.
Player’s compassion harmonizes the situation
Such a development recently took place during a Little League baseball game. Oklahoma batter Isaiah (Zay) Jarvis was hit by a shot taken by Kaiden Shelton, a Texas East pitcher. The blow was heavy and Jarvis fell to the ground. The footage reveals the blow only just knocked his helmet off leaving him in pain. Thankfully, the helmet prevented a bigger injury from occurring.
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Shelton was shaken up by the incident and was quite upset, fearing he may have seriously hurt Jarvis. Jarvis went up to the pitcher and hugged him, telling him that he was alright. Viewers became emotional by the show of humanity and compassion. Coverage of the game showed audience members applauding with some viewers becoming teary-eyed.
Later, Isaiah said he wanted to reassure Shelton that he understood the shot was not intentional and that he was okay. The latter was quite moved and the reassuring hug set his mood right. The video went viral soon after.
Isaiah later said: “I wanted to go over there and spread God’s love and make sure that he’s OK, and make sure that he knows that I’m OK and that I’ll be OK.” (Aleteia).
The shot was really heavy and Jarvis got a small bruise. However, he was a little taken aback by the reactions the video clip received thereafter.
He added: “It’s really crazy, like, who would have thought, like, one hug would go this crazy, you know? That just proves, do nice things and you’ll get rewarded, I guess.” (Aleteia).
As for Shelton, he was really moved by the gesture by the opponent and the appreciation was there from his side too. He initially felt Isaiah was angry and could resort to abusing him, but what happened took him by sheer surprise.
He said: “It felt like he cared. I also cared about him, and that just showed that baseball is sportsmanship — there’s a lot of sportsmanship in baseball. I think the lesson is that you should care for other people. Like if they’re down, you should just care for them, try to build them up.” (Aleteia).
A much-needed show of sportsmanship
The heart-warming gesture created a reassuring atmosphere for the other players as they stepped in to support their fellow teammates. Web users were also pleased to voice their support for the display of kindness. Some users who commented on the video expressed their hope that other players would be inspired by this event and treat their opponents with compassion. The players were just teenagers but that did not stop them from acting in a mature manner and this is something that should serve as a lesson for senior players to follow, viewers remarked. Sometimes, veteran baseball players engage in fights and arguments after similar developments on the field.
Later, it was Texas East that won the game. They will move to the Little League World series now. Despite the loss, Jarvis is going to root for Shelton and the team. He said they belong to the same place and are on friendly terms.