On the athletic fields, you can often witness the very best that humanity has to offer.
Whether it’s viewing the hard work and dedication that athletes put into honing their skills, or perhaps it’s just seeing good, old fashioned sportsmanship, but when you catch a glimpse of truly excellent human behavior, you can’t help but feel a surge of emotion. And that’s exactly what happened during a high school baseball game in Minnesota. Spectators were treated to a display of true sportsmanship and kindness that made everyone say a collective, “Aw.”
Ty Koehn is a pitcher for Mounds View High in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Since junior high, he has been friends with fellow baseball player Jack Kocon, who plays for Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota. Even though the two friends attend different schools, their bond remains tight.
That’s why, at the playoff game between the two rival schools, Ty did something very unusual at the end of the game. In the final play of the game, Ty stood on the pitcher’s mound facing his friend Jack, who was at bat. Jack quickly struck out, and Ty’s team ran out onto the field to celebrate the victory that would send them on to the state championships.
But instead of heading towards the group hug in the middle of the field, Ty made a beeline straight for his friend. As Jack stood with his head down, looking extremely sad, Ty wrapped him in a tight hug for several minutes. After making sure his friend was okay, Ty headed over to celebrate with his teammates, but not before the crowd had seen this beautiful act of sportsmanship.
“We are very close friends,” Ty later explained. “I knew him from all the way back when we were 13. We were on the same little league team. It was tough when we went to separate schools but we kept in touch.”
“I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there. I knew I had to say something. Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knew that before we celebrated.”
Sportsmanship is defined as “the demonstration of fair and generous treatment of others,” and this is a shining example of that concept. It’s also a perfect example of putting your relationships ahead of all other ambitions, because at the end of the day, relationships are far more important than glory.
Watch Ty and Jack’s wonderful moment below, and be sure to share to send this message soaring into the outfield.