In a touching display of sportsmanship, a Little League baseball player who was hit in the head with a ball on Tuesday comforted the shaken pitcher who made the dangerous throw. The moment was caught on video that went viral this week.
Isaiah Jarvis of Tulsa, Okla., was waiting for his next pitch when Pearland, Texas pitcher Kaiden Shelton lost control of the ball and sent it hurtling toward Jarvis’ head. The ball struck Jarvis and sent his helmet flying as he fell to the ground, video showed.
After getting hit with the out-of-control pitch, Jarvis clung to his head on the ground. Coaches eventually cleared the young player, allowing him to take first base on a walk.
While standing on first base, Jarvis realized that Shelton was shaken up and crying, which prompted Jarvis to walk over to the pitcher’s mound and give his opponent a hug.
“Hey, you’re doing great,” the Little League player said, according to CBS News. “Let’s go.”
Announcers at the game called the inspirational gesture “really cool.”
“As a pitcher, [Shelton] looks shaken up right now because of what he did,” the announcer said. “Look at Jarvis. This is such great sportsmanship. He wants him to know that it’s ok. That he’ll be fine. Amazing.”
Jarvis later told CBS News that he “would be pretty scared, too” if he hit a batter with a pitch.
“If you’re throwing hard and you just hit somebody in the head, it’s got to be a scary thing,” he said. “So, I just wanted to go over there and make sure he was all right. Make sure he knows that I’m all right. And really just encourage him.”
Pearland ultimately topped Tulsa 9-4, advancing to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Players must be between the ages of 10 and 12 to compete in the Little League World Series.
“I believe what we are seeing is that our world is tired of divisiveness,” said Head Coach Sean Kouplen, according to News on 6. “And I think when we all saw is friendship and love and caring trump competition. All of a sudden I believe that just struck a chord with everybody.”
The hug garnered praise from top sports media companies online.
“A Little League player was hit on the head by a pitch. Afterward, he went to hug the pitcher, who was shaken up,” Sports Illustrated tweeted. “What a moment.”
“After getting hit in the head with a pitch, this little leaguer showed a true act of sportsmanship by comforting the pitcher,” ESPN posted on Twitter about the Little League hug.