By now I hope you’ve seen the news clip. The cable stations have given it pretty heavy airplay. Sara Tucholsky is a player for the Western Oregon women’s softball team. In their recent game against Central Washington, Sara hit a home run, her first ever. As she was rounding first, she tore a knee ligament in a freak accident and collapsed, unable to finish her victory lap. The rulebook states that any teammate touching or helping her would result in her being declared “out.”
(There is a softball rule, #220.127.116.11, that allows a manager to send in a pinch runner for an injured batsman to complete the hit for which he/she is eligible. Nobody was aware of that rule at the moment, however.) As Sara lay on the ground, the Central Washington first baseman called over a teammate and the two of them decided to carry Sara around the bases so she could touch ‘em all and score.
The sports blog/talk world sizzled last week, and the general consensus was that you wouldn’t have seen images like that coming from the men’s world of NCAA and MLB. Regardless, the world was given some powerful images of two good women carrying an opponent around the bases. Even if you grant that the home run was going to count anyway, no matter how she got around, it still was a class act by the Central Washington players.
All arguing aside, I find my own hard heart stirred by those images. Sometime soon, you might just see me doing something kind for someone who has been mean to me. I guess if two Central Washington players can pick up an opponent, and if Jesus loved me when I was still an enemy and carried my sorrows, I can pick up my own little cross, and I can pick up another’s burden, too.