GUEST COLUMN: We can learn lesson from ball player
August 25, 2022
Did you see the video earlier this month of the Little League batter consoling the opposing team’s pitcher?
During the Little League Southwest Regional final Aug. 9 in Waco, Texas, right-hander Kaiden Shelton of Pearland, Texas, was facing batter Isaiah Jarvis of Tulsa, Okla., when an 0-2 pitch got away from him and slammed into Jarvis’ helmet.
Jarvis fell to the ground and was surrounded by concerned coaches and other staff, but was able to walk unaided to first base a short time later.
He noticed Shelton on the mound staring at the ground in tears over what happened and quickly walked over, giving him a hug and saying “Hey, you’re doing great. Let’s go.”
The act of sportsmanship drew a standing ovation from the crowd and has been making the rounds online.
You can see the original clip at espn.com/espn/story/_/id/34375953/oklahoma-little-league-batter-consoles-tearful-opposing-pitcher-being-hit-head-llws-qualifier or just search Little League batter consoles pitcher and you’ll find it.
In an interview in the Atlantic, Oklahoma coach Sean Kouplen said, “Afterwards, I told them that that is so much bigger than winning a baseball game. I told them that’s what our world needs. It needs to put people above differences and above competitiveness.”
In a world that grows increasingly divisive, displays of compassion and kindness are sadly becoming rarer and rarer. Feel-good moments like this offer some hope for humanity.
We should all follow the example of Isaiah Jarvis – instead of attacking those we have conflict with, we can try to see things from their side.
After the game Shelton told CNN, “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.”
We couldn’t agree more.
This was originally published in the Cody Enterprise on Aug. 22 and is reprinted here with permission via the Wyoming News Exchange.