TULSA, Okla. — An act of sportsmanship during the Little League World Series Southwest Region Championship on Tuesday is shining a light on kindness and compassion.
Team Oklahoma ended up losing the game to Texas East 9-4, their opponents from Pearland, Texas. But it’s how the players conducted themselves during some tense moments at the bottom of the first inning that’s captured the nation’s attention.
FOX23 traveled to Cameron, Okla. Thursday to talk with 12-year-old Isaiah Jarvis and his father Austin Jarvis about what unfolded in Waco, Texas earlier this week.
There were some scary moments for Tulsa Nationals’ Little League baseball player Isaiah Jarvis when a fastball hit him under the bill of his helmet, grazing his cheekbone.
The baseball game was being broadcast live on ESPN when he was knocked to the ground.
“I was just scared that I was going to have a concussion and wasn’t going to be able to play,” Jarvis said during an interview with FOX23 at a high school baseball tournament his Dad was helping to host.
He wasn’t the only one who was scared, 12-year old Kaiden Shelton of Pearland, Texas is the one who threw out the pitch.
“So I thought I really hurt him,” Shelton said during a Zoom interview from his home in Pearland, Texas on Friday. “Like when he fell to the ground it made me feel like, I don’t know, it just made me feel scared because I thought I sent him to the hospital.” But it’s what happened next that stunned everyone, including Shelton who goes by the nickname of “Bubs”.
Isaiah Jarvis walked over to embrace Shelton and comfort him, offering him assurance that he was alright. We asked the young baseball player what was going through his mind before walking to the mound to console Shelton.
“First of all I wanted to spread Jesus’ love and make sure that he was you know comfortable and make sure that he was ok,” Jarvis explained, “and he knew that I was going to be ok.”
We also asked Shelton what Jarvis said to him in that moment on the mound.
“He said ‘you got this, just take deep breaths, you’re ok, I’m fine, you did not hurt me’ and it just shocked me,” Shelton said.
We also asked him about the video of the hug that has now gone viral.
“The hug especially, that just made me feel amazing at that moment,” he said.
The two got to know each other earlier in the week while playing video games together at the hotel the players and their families were staying at. Millions have watched that moment thanks to social media and the Jarvis family said the interview requests have been nonstop.
“I’m very surprised,” said Jarvis, “I had no idea that like one act of kindness was going to go this far, so I’m very thankful.”
His father, Austin Jarvis, coaches baseball at Carl Albert State College in Poteau. He told FOX23 he he was incredibly proud of his son.
“As a parent I don’t think you could ask for any more from your kids than to have a display of kindness in a moment like that,” Jarvis’s father said.
While Jarvis’ season is over, Shelton’s team advances to the Little League World Series that will be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania next week.
The 12-year old plans to take the lessons learned in Waco, Texas this week with him.
“If somebody’s down,” he said, “just go cheer them up, make them feel better, say ‘they got this’.”
Jarvis will be cheering them on when the games get underway next week.
“I hope that he does well and his whole team does well,” he said, “I hope that they win it for the Southwest Region.”
Jarvis, who loves playing baseball, said he dreams of playing the sport professionally for the MLB someday.
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