There may be no crying in baseball, but there’s no rule about crying due to sweetness in baseball.
Spectators at the Little League World Series Southwest Regional Championship witnessed a touching display of sportsmanship on Tuesday in Waco, Texas.
When Texas East Little League (Pearland Little League) pitcher Kaiden Shelton hit Oklahoma National Little League player Isaiah Jarvis in the helmet with a pitch, Shelton became visibly distressed.
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The force of the pitch, which hit the ear cover of Jarvis’ helmet, sent the batter’s protective equipment flying off his head during the bottom of the first inning. Jarvis dropped his bat and fell to the ground in initial reaction.
Coaches for the under-12 Little League teams quickly surrounded the player to check on his well-being, eventually helping Jarvis back onto his feet.
Jarvis appeared fine and was assigned to first base. Shelton, however, was still visibly shaken, in tears as he hung his head on the pitcher’s mound.
After seeing his opponent’s reaction, Jarvis approached the pitcher to give him a hug and some words of encouragement.
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In audio picked up from the Texas coach’s live microphone, Jarvis can be heard telling Shelton, “Hey, you’re doing just great. Let’s go.” Shelton’s teammates and coach joined him at the mound to offer support.
The crowd of spectators gave a standing ovation.
After the game, both players spoke to Good Morning America about the incident.
“I thought he was really hurt,” Shelton told Good Morning America.
The Little League pitcher claimed he thought Jarvis was approaching the mound to “throw a punch.”
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“He hugged me and it made me feel a lot better about myself at that moment,” Shelton said. He added that Jarvis told him to “take deep breaths.”
“We’re all brothers,” Jarvis told Good Morning America, explaining that he approached Shelton because the pair are “pretty good friends.”
“Baseball is just a game,” Jarvis said.
“I wanted to go over there and spread God’s love and make sure that he’s OK, and make sure that he knows that I’m OK and that I’ll be OK,” Jarvis also told CNN on Wednesday.
Jarvis told CNN he has a small bruise, but is otherwise fine.
In the end, Texas East won the six-inning Little League game 9-4.
Texas East will proceed to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., which runs from Aug. 17 to 28.
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