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NOT Bush League - let's hear about the classy moves

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  • clayadams
    replied
    At our last rec league game (9-10yo) the pitcher drilled my girl right between the shoulder blades (she turned from the pitch knowing she'd get hit). She takes pride in being tough so she took her base and showed no signs of being hurt. Still, after the game the pitcher came up to her and apologized. I thought that was awesome.

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  • Cannonball
    replied
    Ursa, your post made my day! Its been raining etc. and so no local baseball and I'm looking out the window and... then, checked out the thread. THANKS!

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  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    Some have probably heard me tell this story before, but it's one of the prouder moments for me.....

    Bottom of the 6th, 2 on, 2 out, 12U playoff game, my son comes up with his team down 1 run. He crushes a ball to right field. Looks like a walk off HR. The RF makes a super, snow cone catch, crashing into the fence, and the ball stays in his glove. The boy was a minimum play player, probably being hidden out there by the coach. This was his shining moment.

    Of course my son and his teammates were disappointed. However, after my son got past 1B he kept running toward RF. He congratulated the boy on the nice catch and shook his hand. He hustled back in with a smile on his face. By this time his some of his teammates were not taking the loss well, but his reaction (he could have been the most disappointed) changed the entire mood. It was very uplifting for everyone there. I told his coach that he made his end of the season speech a piece of cake.

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  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    My son's freshman team was destroying an opponent. He was working on a 4-4 game at the plate and came up in the 5th again with the bases loaded and 2 outs. They had plenty of insurance runs already to get a mercy rule game, so his coach told him to bunt it straight back to the pitcher. It was a classy move calling off the dogs, so to speak.

    I told my son he was a good kid for doing it without any complaints. He said he felt good that his coach was worried about the damage he was going to do on the scoreboard.

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  • shake-n-bake
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    PORTLAND, Ore. - With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.

    But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.

    She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.

    Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count — an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.

    Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.

    The umpire said there was no rule against it.

    So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky’s legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.

    “The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt,” Tucholsky said. “I told her it was my right leg and she said, ‘OK, we’re going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,’ and I said ‘OK, thank you very much.”’

    “She said, ‘You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,’ and we all kind of just laughed.”

    “We started laughing when we touched second base,” Holtman said. “I said, ’I wonder what this must look like to other people.”’

    “We didn’t know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run,” Wallace said Wednesday. “That makes the story more touching than it was. We just wanted to help her.”

    Holtman said she and Wallace weren’t thinking about the playoff spot, and didn’t consider the gesture something others wouldn’t do.

    As for Tucholsky, the 5-foot-2 right fielder was focused on her pain.

    “I really didn’t say too much. I was trying to breathe,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.

    “I didn’t realize what was going on until I had time to sit down and let the pain relax a little bit,” she said. “Then I realized the extent of what I actually did.”

    “I hope I would do the same for her in the same situation,” Tucholsky added.

    As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.

    Central Washington coach Gary Frederick, a 14-year coaching veteran, called the act of sportsmanship “unbelievable.”

    For Western Oregon coach Pam Knox, the gesture resolved the dilemma Tucholsky’s injury presented.

    “She was going to kill me if we sub and take (the home run) away. But at the same time I was concerned for her. I didn’t know what to do,” Knox said.

    Tucholsky’s injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington’s chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.

    “In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much,” Holtman said. “It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.”
    Transcends sports. Awesome story. Sports can also bring out the very best in people.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    We live in a world where Peyton Manning walks off the Super Bowl field without shaking anybody's hand. Where Tiger Woods leaves the Masters without a word of thanks to the fans or congratulations to the winner. Where NFL lineman Albert Haynesworth kicks a man's helmetless head without a thought.

    So if you think sportsmanship is toast, this next story is an all-you-can-eat buffet to a starving man.

    It happened at a junior varsity girls' softball game in Indianapolis this spring. After an inning and a half, Roncalli was womanhandling inner-city Marshall Community. Marshall pitchers had already walked nine Roncalli batters. The game could've been 50-0 with no problem.

    It's no wonder. This was the first softball game in Marshall history. A middle school trying to move up to include grades 6 through 12, Marshall showed up to the game with five balls, two bats, no helmets, no sliding pads, no cleats, 16 players who'd never played before, and a coach who'd never even seen a game.

    One Marshall player asked, "Which one is first base?" Another: "How do I hold this bat?" They didn't know where to stand in the batter's box. Their coaches had to be shown where the first- and third-base coaching boxes were.

    That's when Roncalli did something crazy. It offered to forfeit.

    Yes, a team that hadn't lost a game in 2½ years, a team that was going to win in a landslide purposely offered to declare defeat. Why? Because Roncalli wanted to spend the two hours teaching the Marshall girls how to get better, not how to get humiliated.

    "The Marshall players did NOT want to quit," wrote Roncalli JV coach Jeff Traylor, in recalling the incident. "They were willing to lose 100 to 0 if it meant they finished their first game." But the Marshall players finally decided if Roncalli was willing to forfeit for them, they should do it for themselves. They decided that maybe -- this one time -- losing was actually winning.

    That's about when the weirdest scene broke out all over the field: Roncalli kids teaching Marshall kids the right batting stance, throwing them soft-toss in the outfield, teaching them how to play catch. They showed them how to put on catching gear, how to pitch, and how to run the bases. Even the umps stuck around to watch.

    "One at a time the Marshall girls would come in to hit off of the [Roncalli] pitchers," Traylor recalled. "As they hit the ball their faces LIT UP! They were high fiving and hugging the girls from Roncalli, thanking them for teaching to them the game."

    This is the kind of thing that can backfire with teenagers -- the rich kids taking pity on the inner-city kids kind of thing. Traylor was afraid of it, too.

    "One wrong attitude, one babying approach from our players would shut down the Marshall team, who already were down," wrote Traylor. "But our girls made me as proud as I have ever been. ... [By the end], you could tell they were having a blast. The change from the beginning of the game to the end of the practice was amazing."

    Roncalli wasn't done. Traylor asked all the parents of his players and anybody else he knew for more help for Marshall -- used bats, gloves, helmets, money for cleats, gloves, sliders, socks and team shirts. They came up with $2,500 and worked with Marshall on the best way to help the program with that money. Roncalli also connected Marshall with former Bishop Chatard coach Kim Wright, who will advise the program.

    "We probably got to some things 10 years quicker than we would have had without Roncalli," says Marshall principal Michael Sullivan.

    And that was just the appetizer. A rep from Reebok called Sullivan and said, "What do you need? We'll get it for you." A man who owns an indoor batting cage facility has offered free time in the winter. The Cincinnati Reds are donating good dirt for the new field Marshall will play on.

    "This could've been a thing where our kids had too much pride," says Sullivan. "You know, 'I'm not going to listen to anybody.' But our kids are really thirsty to learn."

    And they are. Marshall never won a game, but actually had leads in its last three games. In fact, it went so well, the players and their parents asked if they could extend the season, so they're looking to play AAU summer softball.

    Just a thought: Major League Baseball is pulling hamstrings trying to figure out how to bring baseball back to the inner city. Maybe it should put the Roncalli and Marshall girls in charge?

    Anyway, it's not an important story, just one that squirts apple juice right in your face. And who knows? Maybe someday, Marshall will be beating Roncalli in the final inning, realize how far it has come, and forfeit again, just as a thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    PORTLAND, Ore. - With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.

    But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.

    She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.

    Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count — an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.

    Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.

    The umpire said there was no rule against it.

    So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky’s legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.

    “The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt,” Tucholsky said. “I told her it was my right leg and she said, ‘OK, we’re going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,’ and I said ‘OK, thank you very much.”’

    “She said, ‘You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,’ and we all kind of just laughed.”

    “We started laughing when we touched second base,” Holtman said. “I said, ’I wonder what this must look like to other people.”’

    “We didn’t know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run,” Wallace said Wednesday. “That makes the story more touching than it was. We just wanted to help her.”

    Holtman said she and Wallace weren’t thinking about the playoff spot, and didn’t consider the gesture something others wouldn’t do.

    As for Tucholsky, the 5-foot-2 right fielder was focused on her pain.

    “I really didn’t say too much. I was trying to breathe,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.

    “I didn’t realize what was going on until I had time to sit down and let the pain relax a little bit,” she said. “Then I realized the extent of what I actually did.”

    “I hope I would do the same for her in the same situation,” Tucholsky added.

    As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.

    Central Washington coach Gary Frederick, a 14-year coaching veteran, called the act of sportsmanship “unbelievable.”

    For Western Oregon coach Pam Knox, the gesture resolved the dilemma Tucholsky’s injury presented.

    “She was going to kill me if we sub and take (the home run) away. But at the same time I was concerned for her. I didn’t know what to do,” Knox said.

    Tucholsky’s injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her home run sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington’s chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.

    “In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much,” Holtman said. “It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.”

    Leave a comment:


  • TexAg
    replied
    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    As a coach, I have no problem yelling to other team's player "Nice catch left", "Great block Catch, way to work". I enjoy it, so do the kids, and it helps set the culture of the game. I can do everything I can to beat you, yet still compliment you on things you do well. I generally reserve these comments for things that casual fans would not cheer for. I once asked the RF if I could give him a dollar to stop backing up every throw to first.
    after my son's LL game (9/10) on Saturday, the opposing coach sought him out after the handshakes to let him know what a good game he had....absolutely made my son's day.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kings over Queens
    replied
    My oldest, an aspie kid, is not an athlete. He always played down one year so he and his younger brother could be on the same team.

    After one game at the 8-9 level, he went up to the other manger (he prefers to speak with adults) after a loss and said "Coach, please tell your team they should be proud of themselves. We have more older kids on our team than you do and it's not their fault (meaning the young kids on the other team) that they lost. They tried their best."

    He was 9 at the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Richmond Coach
    replied
    11U - in the fall - my son hit a line drive off of the pitchers shin. The ball was hit so hard it caromed out of play. The kid immediately went down, tears, etc. He had to be taken out of the game. My son is no politician and rarely speaks unless spoken to. Well, I was coaching 1st - he moves around the bases to score. After he scores, I see him go behind the backstop into the other team's dugout. As he leaves I see the opposing coach pat him on the back and he leaves. I obviously knew what he had done, but I wanted to hear in his words, so I asked him later what transpired. He said "I just went in there to apologize and see if he was ok". It was one of my most proud moments as a parent...

    Leave a comment:


  • CircleChange11
    replied
    Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    I had a pitcher who always went to first and checked on any batter he hit... At times it drove me nuts, but looking back.... He's turned into a special young man.
    At7-8yo league, my son drilled a batter in the back ... and BOTH boys ended up in tears. His quote was "Dad, my heat should be illegal." It's funny because it's so innocent and naive, but pure of intentions. At the time I was coaching pitchers at HS, and the head coach (good friend) and I used to say about fast pitchers we'd encounter, "Dang, this guy's heat should be illegal." as a play on the phrase.

    In this era of "posturing", it is becoming more and more rare to see a good gesture and class acts. I appreciate the starting of the thread. As a coach, I have no problem yelling to other team's player "Nice catch left", "Great block Catch, way to work". I enjoy it, so do the kids, and it helps set the culture of the game. I can do everything I can to beat you, yet still compliment you on things you do well. I generally reserve these comments for things that casual fans would not cheer for. I once asked the RF if I could give him a dollar to stop backing up every throw to first.

    We'll once in a while see a 3B give a batter/runner a high five on an over the fence home run ... namely due to them being rare at our age level.

    Leave a comment:


  • darbypitcher22
    replied
    Classy move there. I've always had respect for players on the field (you see it more at the big league level) who have been able to recognize milestone moments and things like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jake Patterson
    replied
    I had a pitcher who always went to first and checked on any batter he hit... At times it drove me nuts, but looking back.... He's turned into a special young man.

    Leave a comment:


  • NOT Bush League - let's hear about the classy moves

    The recent threads about 'bush league' moves coincided with something that occurred on my son's team that was exactly the opposite, and it struck me that maybe we could take a moment to celebrate things that players do that bring out all that we hope baseball will instill in our youngsters.

    Here's the situation. Ursa Minor is a senior in high school and finally made his varsity team this Spring. He's primarily a pitcher and is an decent catcher, but the team is loaded with pitchers - five returning pitchers (three of whom are D1 caliber), and an up-and-coming sophomore who happens to be the coach's son and raison d'coaching. The coach flat-out told him he'd be a backup/bullpen catcher and should not expect to get on the mound during the season. UMinor accepted the terms and spends most practices primarily catching the other pitchers.

    Because of early-season rainouts, we've had a ton of games compressed together and, during a blowout last week, he was put in to pitch the last two innings to save some arms. Even though he hadn't faced live batters in a game for three months, he did fine, pitching two shutout innings and giving up only one hit while showcasing all four of his pitches. He may or may not get another shot, but he at least proved to the coaches and his teammates that he legitimately belongs at this level.

    The final out was a weak grounder, and, as they came off the field, the first baseman -- one of the D1 potentials and an old friend of his -- subtly sidled up to him and gave him the 'game ball' as a memento and offered his congratulations, as shown below. In the midst of the final out chaos, not many teenagers would have stopped to think what the moment meant to my son. That's pure class, in my book.

    TMcP_Class.gif

    So, anyone else got stories like that? We all know of the college womens' softball team that carried its opponent around the bases so she could touch all the bases after hitting her first home run and tearing a ligament as she rounded first base. I know there are others.
    Last edited by Ursa Major; 04-30-2012, 12:23 AM.

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