In Era of 'Adult Incivility,' Look to Little Leaguers

Jason Gay of 'WSJ' reflects on viral moment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2022 10:45 AM CDT
Little Leaguers Show the Way for Grown-Ups
In this combination of photos from ESPN, pitcher Kaiden Shelton of Pearland, Texas, throws to batter Isaiah Jarvis, of Tulsa, Okla. Jarvis was hit by the pitch, then comforted the distraught pitcher.   (ESPN via AP)

The moment went viral earlier this month, so there's a decent chance you've seen video of the Little League batter comforting the distraught pitcher who inadvertently hit him in the head with a pitch. If you haven't, or even if you have, Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal suggests taking a little time to watch. It's a "stirring example of sportsmanship and kindness," writes Gay. "It's the type of moment that reassures there is still humanity out there," he adds, crediting Oklahoma batter Isaiah "Zay" Jarvis but also his coaches and parents. "A child does not suddenly become an empathetic human being midway through a Little League contest."

Zay's team lost that day, but when pitcher Kaiden "Bubs" Shelton and the rest of his Texas teammates play in the championship round later this month, Zay will be in the stands as an invited guest of Little League Baseball, notes Gay. It's a deserved honor, he writes. "That kid—he was something different," Bubs said after the now-famous game. We're living in an age when "adult incivility" seems to be spiraling out of control, writes Gay. He adds: "Leave it to the Little Leaguers to set the example." (Read his full essay.)

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