By Ken Reed
“Wins and losses matter, but true acts of sportsmanship define participants. A moment this genuine should be required viewing for all athletes.”
—Chip Scoggins, Minneapolis Star Tribune
I love this story.
Ty Koehn, a high school pitcher for Mounds View High School in Minnesota, strikes out a childhood friend, Jack Kocon of Totino-Grace High School, to send his team to the state tournament. But instead of immediately celebrating with his teammates, Koehn sprints to home plate to hug and console Kocon. It’s truly heartwarming to watch.
“It was just instincts to go up to him and let him know that the outcome of the game isn’t as important as our friendship,” said Koehn after the game.
Kocon appreciated the gesture.
“When I realized what happened, I hung my head and he gave me a hug,” Kocon said. “That was huge for me, because I needed someone and he was there for me.”
Koehn and Kocon played on Little League and travel baseball teams together when they were kids. They remained friends despite going to different high schools.
While hugging his buddy, Koehn told Kocon the loss wasn’t his fault and that he loved him.
“It was an amazing gesture, a show of sportsmanship that puts a lump in your throat,” wrote Scoggins this week.
“A young man experiencing one of the greatest moments of his sports career offering support to a young man experiencing one of his lowest moments.”
It’s something Kocon will never forget.
“Obviously it stinks to see yourself striking out on every major news [outlet], but it means so much more than that,” said Kocon upon reflection.
“In 20 years, I’m not going to remember the score. I’ll just remember what he did and that’s all that matters to me.”
That is sport at its best. It isn’t the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship. It isn’t the Washington Capitals winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup.
It’s heart-driven acts of sportsmanship like Ty Koehn’s.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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