The Ultimate Act of Sportsmanship

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.

After that, does it really matter who won the game? You can read the entire story at ESPN. Link -via Metafilter

(image credit: Stephen Katin/WOU)

Update: See a picture of Tucholsky "running the bases" in this story.

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I don't know Sean so I can't testify to his turdiness but everything he said is not correct. Most of it is opinion and the bit about fraud is just plain wrong. Fraud is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Since none of the players were actually breaking the rules they were not committing any wrongful or criminal deception. I guess you could say that the injured player achieved some personal gain but realistically speaking it would not amount to much more than bragging rights. One homer over an entire college career? The opposing players who carried her, in my opinion, received the most personal gain. I imagine the high they received from that event (and the attention) lasted longer than any they would have received from the game otherwise.

Sports have not always been about winning at any cost. In fact, today, professional sports is not about winning it is about making craploads of money. If they could do that by losing then lose is what they would do. At any cost. There have been many games that were purposely lost for monetary profit. That is what is wrong with sports and why I am glad my kids are completely uninterested in holding Kobe Bryant and that dog fighting football player and their ilk up as role models.
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Wow, what a lot of hate towards bean, even though what he's saying is essentially correct. And calling him a turd? Not very classy.

Sports is about chivalry, having fun? Sports has always been about winning, from the time of the ancient Greeks until today. And winning at any cost. A story like this is nice and heartwarming, but would it happen in major league baseball, the SuperBowl, the World Cup (or whatever it's called) for soccer, the Olympics?
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Here's a story about sportsmanship from the 2007 Virginia State Wrestling Tournament. It proves that you don't have to take 1st place to be a winner, and speaks volumes for what the sport of wrestling teaches our young men. Here goes:

My son was wrestling another young man for 7th-8th place. Both guys already knew that they would be "All State" -- this win was about "pride of placement." My son knew going into the match that the other boy had a full ride football scholarship waiting for him at the University of Maryland.

During the second round of the match, the other boy hurt his knee, and the Ref called injury time. After about a minute, the other boy limped back on the mat and wrestling continued -- but my son didn't go after the injured knee.

The boys continued to wrestle, and then separated again -- competition time was ticking off the clock as the other boy held his knee, and my son tried to think about how to go after him, without hurting the knee further. The other boy was in the lead, and I'm ashamed to admit that we were alll screaming at my son to stop standing there and "get him."

The Ref figured out what was going on and called injury time again. While the other coaches and the ATC talked to the other boy, my son told the Ref he didn't want to hurt the other boy permanently -- that this was just one match, and that the other boy had a scholarship on the line. The Ref went back and talked to the other boy and his coaches; they decided that he would continue with the match. The boys went three rounds; however, my son did not work the wounded knee or leg, and ended up winning anyway.

I think that both wrestlers showed tremendous courage and heart. Even though they finished 7th and 8th, in my book, these young men took first place! :-)
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