Monday, May 5, 2008

The heart of an athlete~

On my sleeve~
Sports. Competition, blood, sweat, and tears, hopes and dreams make up a college athlete's daily life. Athletes want to win. They train hard. They want the best record. It's a matter of pride. A game is for winning.

But sometimes the heart supercedes the ego as in the case of the softball game played at Western Oregon College where senior Sara Tucholsky hit a homerun-- her first ever.

She bolted down the baseline and rounded first and saw the ball sail over the fence. She slowed to jog the bases to home plate, collect her high fives and bask in some glory.

But Sara knew she had missed first base and when she turned to touch the bag , she wrenched her knee and fell to the ground curled in pain.

Rules. They can seem heartless.

The rules that define college softball say there is no home run until home plate is reached. Sara would be called out if her teammates touch her. A pinch runner could go in, but the hit would become a single.

Sara remained on the ground. Two teammates remained on base. Coaches deliberated. A three run homer was in contention.

Then, in an act straight from the heart, players from opposing Central Washington University asked the umpire if they could help her.

Rules. Sometimes there just isn't one.

So opposing players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace formed a chair with their arms and a seated Sara was carried around baseline to home plate amidst tears and cheers.

Her three-run homer counted. Western Oregon won 4 -2, and Central Washington lost their chance to win the conference and get into the playoffs.

But the losing team did win. The game of life is a far harder game than softball. The Central Washington girls are all-stars in the game of life.

Find the story here.


Carter said...

Has anyone ever told you you're one hell of a writer? Maybe fame, maybe fortune, maybe not. But your talent is a treasure.

Bob Sanchez said...

Those girls showed true class. They convince me there is hope for this world after all.

Lisa said...

I was having lunch at a place that had a big tv yesterday, and they were showing this story. Talk about heart wrenching . . . a really touching story.
Gorgeous picture, btw, Ruth! :)

Wanda said...

This may be one of the best stories I've every heard!! Ruth, you did it again ~~ you delight me with your stories.

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh that gave me goosebumps -what a heart-warming story. I love the way you write Ruth.

Janice Thomson said...

I forgot to mention what a glorious and appropriate photo of a white bleeding heart.

Tim Elhajj said...

Nice work. Good story.

Barbara said...

What a touching story. It just proves there is still so much good in the world!

Dave said...

What a beautiful story. Life is full of love and here is just another example of that. Thank you so much for sharing this. In a time when all newspapers and news programs are full of hate and violence this is a breath of fresh air. Yes the losing team was the biggest winner. Bless them.

Sarah Zobel said...

My 10-year-old son's baseball coach sent that story to all the team parents. I read it aloud to my kids, a little teary; I read it the next day elsewhere online, a little teary; I read it again here on your blog, a little teary. I love it. In a world full of stories of bad, here is one about pure good, about heart.

And yes, you did a lovely job in the retelling.

Thanks for sharing it again.

Sarah Z

Pauline said...

It's the way the world should work! And I agree with all the rest - you're telling of it is masterful.

Tere said...

There are so many "bad" sports stories. This was wonderful and an example for all athletes of what true sportsmanship is. I had not seen this story and I am so glad you shared it.

Ruth D~ said...

Thank you all~ This was a winner of a good deed. It resonated with so many, in a happy, teary way. think of all the other good deed we don't hear about. Such a shame.