Oklahoma Little League Player Hit in the Head, Great Sportsmanship Ensues
If you are a baseball fan and want to see the pure joy of the game, watch the Little League World Series. Every year, we see a group of coaches and players who come out and play the game not to one up each other but to truly compete. These young men are learning a great lesson in not only how to be a graceful winner but also how to learn from defeat and not let that defeat get them down. For one Oklahoma player in today's (August 9) Little League Southwest Regional Tournament, he showed empathy for a Texas player after an errant pitch hit his teammate in the head.
Today, August 9, the Little League Southwest Regional Tournament champion was crowned. That team will move on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania which kicks off on August 17. While Pearland, Texas did win 9-4 to advance, its the action of their opponent that is really drawing the eye of fans for that game.
Its the bottom of the 1st inning and there are 2 outs with Texas East leading Oklahoma 3-2. The Texas pitcher throws his 0-2 pitch and it inadvertently hits the Oklahoma player in the head, sending him to the ground. If this were the professional game, both benches would have cleared with multiple fights breaking out and highlights of said fight shown for a couple of days afterwards.
That didn't happen here
Nope. No fighting. No cursing. No managers yelling at the other dugout. What was seen was an Oklahoma player who had reached first base walk up to the very visibly upset Texas pitcher, give him a hug and offer some words of encouragement. In other words, something professional athletes seem to have forgotten, good sportsmanship.
Where Could This Sportsmanship Come From?
Well, from a couple of places. First, this young man's parents. Second, this young man's coach. Both have obviously taught this young man how to properly compete. Yes, compete to win, but also compete so that a moment becomes something that's teachable and can be learned from.
Congratulations to Pearland, Texas for their advancement to the Little League World Series. But also a congratulations to this young man and his team for their perfect display of great sportsmanship. This needs to be number one in SportsCenter's Top 10 tonight, not a 600 foot home run or a sideline catch from an NFL preseason game.