Watch Little Leaguer Show Incredible Sportsmanship After Getting Hit by a Pitch

Every athlete—big and small—should see the viral moment when a player comforts his opponent at the Little League World Series.

Little league baseball in midair
Photo: Getty

As a parent of middle and high school athletes, I have seen my fair share of impressive sportsmanship. Sadly, I've seen moments that demonstrated the opposite of impressive by both kids and their parents. A story coming out of a Little League regional tournament game in Waco, Texas may just trump them all when it comes to showcasing the honorable thing to do during an athletic event.

It happened Tuesday when Pearland, Texas faced off against Tulsa, Oklahoma in a Southwest regional playoff game, KHOU 11 reports. Texas right hander Kaiden Shelton was the pitcher when Oklahoman Isaiah Jarvis stepped up to bat. What happened next likely caused parents and spectators to audibly gasp: Shelton's 0-2 pitch went haywire—The Washington Post called it "scary"—and ended up striking Jarvis' helmet, with the player dropping to the mound in pain.

After coaches cleared the injured batter to walk to first base, Jarvis noticed that the pitcher was still visibly upset about striking him. And so, he put his own feelings aside and walked over to embrace Shelton, comforting him and saying, "Hey, you're doing great. Let's go."

You can witness the dramatic moment on Twitter, which prompted commenters to commend the players for their inspiring display of sportsmanship. "Every college and pro athlete [needs] to watch and learn…" said one person. "Both these boys were raised right, parents, you did good," commented someone else.

Meanwhile, according to The Washington Post, folks in the stands were getting misty-eyed, including Jarvis' coach, Sean Kouplen, who said, "It was the most remarkable thing I think I've ever seen in my life." He also expressed that this act was right in line with his player's overall upstanding character.

As for the boys, well, it turns out they had become friends days before, with the Pearland native telling KHOU 11 he felt relieved in that moment that his new buddy didn't get injured too badly, but that he felt angry at himself for hitting Jarvis.

"I could hardly breathe, honestly, at that point," Shelton recalled about the now-viral moment. "And he came over and he hugged me and he told me I got this and he was, like, 'Take deep breaths and just think happy thoughts,'" he recalled, adding that Jarvis was "different" than other kids.

While speaking to Good Morning America, Shelton also admitted that in his mind, the interaction could have played out in another way. "I thought he was going to throw a punch or something like that," he confessed, adding that the hug made him feel a lot better about himself.

Meanwhile, Jarvis said, "we are all brothers," and wisely noted that "baseball is just a game." He also told The Washington Post, "If I was there, I'd probably be doing the same thing, because hitting someone in the head is not an easy thing to overcome, mentally and emotionally. If you hit a guy, you'd probably be pretty down on yourself after that, and emotional, and you've got to think: 'Is he okay? Did I just give him a concussion?' … So I was making sure he was okay and was telling him I was okay and just telling him it was fine."

Ultimately, Pearland advanced to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. according to People. Here's hoping no matter who wins the title, all players watch the video that shows who the true champions of the tournament are.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles