Sportsmanship and class

I’m sure some if not many of you have seen this already, but I think it bears promoting anyway. It’s a video story from ESPN about a college game and the act of class and sportsmanship that one team showed another.

The basics are that a player on one team hit an over-the-fence home run — her first-ever as a player. As she was going into second on her home run trot she realized she didn’t touch first and turned to go back and touch it. As she turned she tore her ACL (probably metal cleats catching in the dirt, but that’s another story). She crawled back to first, then just lay there hugging the base. The umpire told her coach that no one from their team could help her around the bases, and they couldn’t use a pinch runner for her (the latter of which turned out to be untrue). So she was stuck at first, in pain, unable to go on, when a very classy thing occured.

Two players from the opposing team, with the hitter’s permission, picked her up and carried her around the bases, pausing at each one to let her touch it. They certainly didn’t have to do it, but they felt it was the right thing to do.

What an amazing thing. In our ultra-competitive society, where everyone is trying to gain an advantage, it would’ve been easy to let her lie there and her run not to count. The team on defense at the time went on to lose the game. But those players made the decision to do the right thing, consequences be damned.

What a tribute to those players, their coach, and their parents. I hope they were at least named conference players of the week. This is the type of thing sports are supposed to teach but don’t always do. If you want your kids to have role models, you couldn’t find any better ones than these young ladies.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on May 5, 2008, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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