This is actually a softball story, and it’s a month or so old, but I thought I’d share it here anyway, as it is such a great story. It happened in women’s college softball, and the reactions I’ve read in comments posted on the various sites that have discussed it have ranged from “Gee, that player’s hot, I’d carry her around any day” (a typical response of young males to any photo of any female athlete), to “This could only happen in women’s sports.”
Anyway, here’s the story.
April 29, 2008. Central Washington University versus Western Oregon University. Tournament time.
“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.”
However, she missed first base, and when she turned round to go back and touch it, she did something to her knee. Fell down. Couldn’t get back up. Crawled back to touch first base.
Her teammates couldn’t help her get around the bases, said the umpire. She’d be called out. A pinch runner could come in, but then she’d only get a single.
So, at this point, a players from the opposing team stepped in. “What if we carry her around the bases?” asked Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman.
The umpire said there was no rule against it. So two Central Washington players - Mallory, and shortstop Liz Wallace - carried Tucholsky around the basepaths, lowering at each base so she could touch it.
At the end, she got her home run, the team got three runs, and Western Oregon University defeated Central Washington and continued on in the tournament.
It was a tremendously unselfish act. One can only hope that that unselfishness, that sportsmanship, will resonate with other players in other sports. Whereever there’s a chance of a college player going on to a professional sport – that type of sportshmanship will be non-existent.