Little league district 22
The greatest moment in the history of sportsmanship happened in the very first inning of the Southwest Region championship.
Two boys who when they woke up this morning only cared about one thing… get to Williamsport. Suddenly everything changed because in real life things happen just like that … things change in a heartbeat.
Kaiden Shelton is the big man on the powerful Pearland team, their big picture, their big hitter.
Isiah Jarvis is the shortstop on the scrappy Oklahoma team that had through incredible perseverance made it to the championship game.
One team has already been to Williamsport, the other has never been.
The Pearland team scored 3 runs in the top of the first, but Oklahoma came right back at them in the bottom of the inning, they scored 2 runs and had a big rally going on, there was noise everywhere, and coaches were yelling for the pitcher Shelton and the batter Jarvis to ”Battle” “win the battle.”
Then it happened, a twist of fate, Shelton lost control of a fastball and hit Jarvis right in the helmet, and Jarvis fell in a heap at home plate Suddenly nobody was thinking about Williamsport anymore. With Isiah laying there and coaches and medical staff rushing to his prone body, Shelton kind of circled around the area between home and the pitcher's mound.
The stadium was silent.
Jarvis’s mom stood in the stands, one hand clasped to her face, the other to her heart.
And every mom who has ever sent their boys into these games was right there with her.
The Pearland players took a knee, eventually so did Shelton.
Seconds seemed like hours.
On one knee, Shelton was totally alone with his thoughts.
But going through his mind were the words of the umpire immediately after Jarvis had gone down .” Oh my God” the umpire had said.
Finally, they helped Jarvis to his feet, on the replay you could see how the ball had hit his helmet in a good spot, it got more helmet than anything, and Jarvis had been more frightened than anything.
He trotted down to first, but now the trouble was with Shelton.
Before that pitch he had only one thought - Battle… win the battle … the words of coaches…now the only words he could hear in his mind… were the words of the umpire: “Oh my god.”
And just like that, he started to cry.
He was standing on the mound crying, and nobody went to him, not his teammates, not his coaches. Then one person did go to him…
Isiah Jarvis left first base threw his helmet off, walked right to him, and hugged him.
That hug said… it’s okay.
It was just what Shelton needed at that particular moment, I am sure his mom had wanted to Rush out there and hug her boy, Isiah took care of that for her, because Shelton was a big kid with a big heart and he didn’t want to hurt anybody, he didn’t want to hear an umpire say “Oh my god” over something he did.
He was there to play baseball and make new friends, he hadn’t bargained for this The game resumed, somebody won, somebody lost, one team went to Williamsport, the other packed their bags for home, it will all be forgotten, but that moment of perfect sportsmanship will live for as long as there is human competition Before the tournament Isiah Jarvis said his biggest dream was to make sports center.
I think it’s going to happen.
His name is Isiah and in the book of Isiah there is a famous passage about coming quickly to the rescue “I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
It’s almost perfectly symbolic that a boy named Isiah would come quickly to the rescue and do it when it was most needed.