August 23, 2022 by By Cathy Stack
The Little League Southwest Regional Playoff would determine which team would make it to the final game in Williamsport. Kaiden Shelton pitched for his Pearland, Texas baseball team and Isaiah Jarvis played shortstop for the opposing team from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Coaches, parents and onlookers cheered and yelled words of encouragement as the Pearland and Oklahoma Little League baseball teams approached a tied score. Kaiden’s team scored three runs in the top of the first inning, and Isaiah’s team fought back with two scored runs at the bottom.
Pressure intensified for Kaiden to pitch a strike as the crowd’s rally cry, “win the battle!”, grew louder. He knew that his next pitch could decide which team won or lost the playoff game.
Kaiden threw a powerful fastball. His fast pitch went astray and hit Isaiah’s helmet, knocking him to the ground. Medical staff rushed to Isaiah’s aid, and parents and coaches grew concerned. The stadium grew eerily silent. Kaiden and the other Pearland baseball players took a knee in support of the opposing team’s fallen player.
Medics checked Isaiah for injuries and, moments later, helped him to his feet. Relief swept across the field. His helmet had prevented any serious injury, but the unexpected, frightening hit had rattled his nerves. He quickly recovered and medical staff cleared him to continue playing. He walked to first base to prepare for the next play.
Pitcher Kaiden stood on the mound, overwhelmed with emotion from the traumatic incident. He teared up over the thought that he had hurt a fellow player. Isaiah noticed Kaiden’s distress and threw down his helmet. He walked toward the pitcher’s mound and gave Kaiden a hug. He instinctively knew that Kaiden needed this reassurance in order to continue the game.
“Hey, you're doing great. Let's go,” Isaiah said to Kaiden.
The ballpark erupted in wild cheers at the touching gesture. The game resumed, but that moment will live on as a perfect demonstration of respect between opposing players.
PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believe Isaiah and Kaiden are heroes for reminding us the importance of teamwork, respect, character and kindness.. Their empathetic action turned a scary moment into a wonderful example of the value of sportsmanship. Please help us celebrate these two little leaguers by sharing their heartwarming story.
Watch video here: https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/34374905
Picture credit: Facebook
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