By Ken Reed

In the Southwest Region final of the Little League Baseball World Series tournament, Kaiden Shelton of Texas drilled Oklahoma’s Isaiah Jarvis in the head (which luckily was protected with a batting helmet). Jarvis fell down like a rock and was shaken up for awhile. But he eventually got up and made it to first base, where he noticed that Shelton appeared to be distraught and crying.

Jarvis then went to the mound to console Shelton and …

I’ll let John Canzano (@johncanzanobft), who writes the Bald Faced Truth blog, pick it up at that point:

Once there, he did the wildest thing. He hugged him. Then, Jarvis told him, “Hey, you’re doing just great.”

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months growing disillusioned with sports. We’re in a summer that has given us LIV Golf, the defection of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten, and Kevin Durant signing a $198 million extension, then demanding a trade one year into it. …

Then, came that wonderful Little League scene. …The two teams were competing for one of 20 spots in the World Series in Williamsport, Pa. One advances. One goes home. … I don’t know about you, but the empathy, class and sportsmanship displayed in that moment felt like a cool breeze across a scorching-hot sports landscape.

I didn’t like seeing Jarvis get hit in the helmet by that pitch. I held my breath when I saw the video. I was glad the kid wasn’t hurt. Then, I watched him go to first base, and do something the rest of sports hasn’t done enough of lately — lift us all up.

My eyes watered.

I sure needed it.

Maybe you did, too.

Read the rest of Canzano’s poignant piece

See the video clip from the game

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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