Most parents are trying to raise good kids — children who are kind, compassionate and respectful to adults and their peers. And in a touching display on a baseball mound, one young man proved there’s hope yet for the younger generation.
In a now viral video, which has been viewed by thousands on ESPN’s YouTube channel and social media platforms, a 12-year-old Little Leaguer gets hit in the head with a fastball, recovers, and then immediately goes over to comfort the pitcher who feels guilty over the scary accident.
With an appearance in the Little League World Series at stake, Isaiah Jarvis of Oklahoma Little League chose compassion over competition as he consoled Kaiden Shelton, who was on the mound for opposing team Texas East during the Southwest Region championship game at Marvin Norcross Stadium in Waco, Texas, Tuesday.
After noticing that Shelton was emotional following his rogue pitch — which knocked Jarvis’ helmet off and left him clutching his head on the ground — Jarvis ran over to the mound from his position at first base and gave the young pitcher a hug, seemingly reassuring him that he was OK.
“It was the most remarkable thing I think I’ve ever seen in my life,” Jarvis’ coach Sean Kouplen told The Washington Post of the first-inning moment, which the team didn’t realize was receiving love until after the game.
Jarvis added of the exchange, “... 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 OK? Did I just give him a concussion?’ … So I was making sure he was OK and was telling him I was OK and just telling him it was fine.”
According to onlookers, Shelton repeatedly expressed how sorry he was for accidentally hitting Jarvis and wanted to make sure the youngster was all right. Turns out, Jarvis just had “a small headache” and was “fine,” the Tulsa native confirmed.
Despite his team’s loss — Texas East went on to win the game, 9-4 — Jarvis displayed an act of sportsmanship that warmed the hearts of not only the crowd but strangers on the internet.
“Being a good person is more important than being a great player,” Jarvis’ dad told The Washington Post, “and seeing him exemplify that on the field today, and on television — which I didn’t even know it was on TV in that moment — seeing him do that just makes me really proud.”
Jarvis and Shelton appeared on CNN’s morning show New Day on Wednesday and reacted to their exchange earning attention.
“I think the lesson is that you should care for other people,” Shelton said. “If they’re down, you should just care for them, try to build them up.”