The Ultimate Act of Sportsmanship

Thanks to Neatorama for this uplifting story.

You will NEVER see this in the major leagues.

Two NCAA Division II schools were playing softball. Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky had never hit a home run in her college career, but with the score tied 0-0, she hit one out of the park. Two players on base ran home, and Tucholsky ran toward first base, missed it, then turned around. Her knee suddenly gave out and she collapsed. Tucholsky could not reach first base.

If she received any help from her coach or teammates, she would be out. The coach could replace her with another runner and keep a two-run single, but that would rob Tucholsky of her only possible collegiate homer.

That’s when the opposing team stepped in. Central Washington senior and scoring leader Mallory Holtman asked if she and her teammates could carry Tucholsky to each base.

“Honestly, it’s one of those things that I hope anyone would do it for me,” Holtman said. “She hit the ball over her fence. She’s a senior; it’s her last year. … I don’t know, it’s just one of those things I guess that maybe because compared to everyone on the field at the time, I had been playing longer and knew we could touch her, it was my idea first. But I think anyone who knew that we could touch her would have offered to do it, just because it’s the right thing to do. She was obviously in agony.”

Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace lifted Tucholsky off the ground and supported her weight between them as they began a slow trip around the bases, stopping at each one so Tucholsky’s left foot could secure her passage onward. Even with Tucholsky feeling the pain of what trainers subsequently came to believe was a torn ACL (she was scheduled for tests to confirm the injury on Monday), the surreal quality of perhaps the longest and most crowded home run trot in the game’s history hit all three players.

It is stories like this that restore my faith in humanity.

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~ by thedark2 on April 29, 2008.

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