I remember back in every little league baseball game, some kid was crying about either striking out, getting hit by a pitch, a call by the umpire, the coach yelling at him, his dad yelling at him, or the fact the love of their life just broke up with them in the sixth grade.
I mean, we were kids, but every game felt more like a funeral instead of a baseball game… but for me, it probably had more to do with their hyper competitive parents making them hate the game.
But a new viral video from the Little League World Series has fans arguing about where you draw the line between good sportsmanship and competitiveness. Can they coexist? Can you show compassion and respect to your opponent while maintaining that junkyard dog mentality, beating them living hell out of them on the field?
Texas East was taking on Oklahoma in the Southwest Region Championship to see who advances to the Little League World Series, with Texas East up 3 to 2 in the bottom of the first inning.
Then, a scary moment occurred when the Texas East pitcher sent a pitch right into the Oklahoma player’s left temple, and he hit the deck.
Of course, this is absolutely terrifying, considering the fact that if the ball would’ve directly hit the player in the temple, it could’ve been pretty bad, but it caught the helmet and he was fine.
The batter eventually got back up and trotted to first base… no harm, no foul.
Then, he proceeds to trot towards the mound.
When I first saw the video, apart of me thought that the Oklahoma player was walking over to send a right cross to the pitcher’s face for plunking him in the head.
But nah, he was just walking over to give the pitcher a nice little hug, while the pitcher was absolutely bawling his eyes out like there’s no tomorrow.
Midwest nice. #SomethingsAreBiggerThanSports
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 9, 2022
Soft or sportsmanship?
Some call it’s a great show of sportsmanship:
Hate to see anyone get hit, but love to see good sportsmanship. Great gesture by this kid to reassure the pitcher that hit him. ❤️
The fiercest competitors I’ve met frown upon fraternizing with opponents between the lines, but sometimes you gotta take care of your fellow humans. https://t.co/5XYSF1bI6Q
— Not Gaetti (@notgaetti) August 9, 2022
All star human: https://t.co/w1hmb4Y30X
— Slicin’ Hammer ⚠️ (@SlicinHammer) August 9, 2022
— Julie Shepherd (@Jams4327) August 9, 2022
Sportsmanship. Let’s never lose the focus. https://t.co/6hzu6Sa0hA
— Bryan Tennis (@BHSTennisTeams) August 9, 2022
Young Men are inherently caring and great people. The comments below this video are exactly how they end up as angry adults who move about the world with careless abandon for others. https://t.co/fghd4yjsbN
— Logan (@Ljc_9) August 9, 2022
And then there were those who called it soft:
Kids are so soft nowadays https://t.co/dDmEWJFznq
— nick meadows (@Nick_1441) August 9, 2022
— Will (@wchouston30) August 9, 2022
— butch jones (@bigredzeeb) August 9, 2022
Nope. I’m having my pitcher throw at him next… https://t.co/PfvHoBftEg
— ViRTUE (@NoDQ_Virtue) August 9, 2022
😂😂😂 What they about to slow dance https://t.co/wSs4vZr0tC
— Nick Conway (@conway1_nick) August 9, 2022
Okay, okay, I know the pitcher probably felt awful for nearly accidentally committing a murder on the baseball diamond, and obviously we’re talking about young kids here, but c’mon. So while I won’t go on some rant about how kids are too soft these days, I don’t think 12 year old me is hugging the opposing pitcher on the mound in a situation like that. I probably would’ve just yelled over to him, “hey, dude… I’m fine.”
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with showing some respect on the field, as well as some emotion… don’t let the world turn you into an asshole, kids.