A Georgia high school baseball player is being praised for an amazing display of sportsmanship during a game last month.
Jo Vaal Hollingshed is a senior at Henry County High School and on March 29, his team took on the Eastside High School Eagles out of Newton County.
It was an emotional game at home for Eastside because just one week before, the father of pitcher Michael Hipps Jr. suffered a medical emergency during a home game and passed away as a result. It was the first game back for Hipps since his dad’s death.
The Eagles released balloons in honor of the late Mr. Hipps before the game started. Then, the game got underway and Hollingshed was first at-bat.
Just before Hipps threw the first pitch of the game, Hollingshed stepped away from the plate, put his bat down on the ground and made his way toward the pitcher’s mound.
“With compassion and a selfless spirit, the visiting team’s player reached out to hug his opponent, shook his hand, and offered his condolences for the loss of his father. The two returned to their respective positions and the game commenced,” Henry County Schools said in a news release.
And that’s what it’s all about. For all the asshole parents screaming at kids, for all the coaches losing their minds, and for all the blown calls by an umpire we counter it with a simple yet thoughtful gesture.
Nothing about what batter (Hollingsworth) did was difficult. He ran to the mound and offered his condolences, but it was probably very powerful for the pitcher (Hipps). A nice reminder that even the smallest gestures can have a huge impact.
And again….sports. They’re the best for so many reasons.