A tremendous display of sportsmanship occurred during Venezuela’s 3-2 walk-off win over the Dominican Republic during the Little League World Series on Monday. Just minutes after giving up a walk-off hit, Edward Uceta of the D.R. was consoled by opposing coaches and players while still on the mound.
— ant (@anthonynoz1) August 22, 2017
As you can see, the Dominican Republic held a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two men on base, Omar Romero hit a triple to bring home both the tying run and the go-ahead run to win the game.
Immediately after the play, Uceta collapses on the pitcher’s mound. As some of the members of the Venezuelan team are celebrating, a few of the coaches notice Uceta sobbing on the ground. They go over to him, pick him up, offer words of encouragement and hug him. Uceta also received a hug from one of Venezuela’s star players during the post-game handshake line.
It was a touching moment that reinforces what Little League should be all about. These are just kids out there playing on the biggest stage. Emotions can run high. It’s promising to see relationships and empathy can triumph over a silly game of baseball.
Following the game, Dominican Republic manager Jose Cordero told ESPN he appreciated Venezuela’s sportsmanship and talked about his admiration for his pitcher.
“We’re all Latino, we’re brothers,” Dominican Republic manager Jose Cordero said of Venezuela’s sportsmanship.
“[Uceta] has a very big heart,” Cordero said. “If I talk too much about him, I start to tear up.”
Given some of the people who lurk in internet comments section, we imagine there will be some “typical millennials” responses. Don’t be that person. These are kids, not grown adults. No one is saying Zach Britton needs to be hugged by members of the New York Yankees if he blows a save.
Not only that, but the Little League World Series is partially about these players coming together and creating friendships. Two players from different countries communicating with each other despite a language barrier is a significant moment.
— bob holtzman (@Bob_Holtzman) August 20, 2017
If these kids represent the future of the game, baseball is going to be just fine.
(BLS H/N: Deadspin)
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