I felt compelled to share a story that I read about which took place during the recent Indiana State High School Baseball 4A State Championship baseball game between Roncalli and Zionsville. The game was close from start to finish. The game went into extra innings after being tied 2-2 at the end of 7 innings. In the bottom of the 9th Roncalli had a runner in scoring position with two outs and the hitter batted a groundball between the third baseman and short stop. As the two players from Zionsville attempted to make the play they collided, but the short stop was able to make attempt to throw the runner out at first. The throw was late and the runner was called safe. The go ahead run scored and Roncalli won the game and the state championship.
As the players and coaches from Roncalli charged the field to celebrate their state championship the pitcher from Zionsville had collapsed to ground in dismay over what had just transpired. I might add that this was Zionsville’s first ever trip to the state championship in baseball. As the celebration ensued a player from Roncalli saw that the pitcher from Zionsville had fallen to the ground and rather than celebrate with his team immediately he chose to console the pitcher from Zionsville. He helped him to his feet and congratulated him on a great game along with encouragement for how well he and his teammates had played.
Click here to view the video of his tremendous show of sportsmanship.
There are many lessons that can be learned from this act of sportsmanship. Hopefully coaches and fans across the country will watch this video and get the word out to their teams and athletic departments. Sports need more of these kind acts of sportsmanship across the country. When playing and competing players and coaches have a tendency to get testy if they lose. If reading about or watching this video can help enhance the sportsmanship in the games we play, it will increase the fun that players have playing sports.
By Dr. Bret Simmermacher
Dr. Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org