'Excuse me,' Mallory interrupted, 'would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?'”
Though Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky often dreamed of what it would be like to hit her first home run, she never imagined it would end with the opposing team carrying her around the bases. In fact, her home run almost didn’t become a reality, except for the sportsmanship of Central Washington players Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace.
Sara’s home run came in the second inning of the second game of a double header between the two teams. At stake that weekend was a bid to the NCAA's Division II playoffs. Central Washington needed to win the second game to keep its postseason dreams alive.
When Sara hit her long-awaited home run, players on second and third both ran home, whooping in celebration. Sara, in her excitement, over-ran first base. But when she turned quickly to go back, her right knee gave out. Sara went down in agony just a few feet from first base.
Sara was clearly injured and unable to walk on her own. Her coaches and teammates debated what to do. If Western Oregon trainers, coaches or players helped her up, she would be out. If they substituted a pinch-runner, her home run would be counted as a two-run single. Either way, Sara would lose the only home run of her career.
Central Washington player Mallory Holtman was also a senior—and her school’s career leader in home runs. After four years, she knew the rules of the game and quickly realized there was just one way for Sara’s home run to count.
“Excuse me,” Mallory interrupted the debating umpires and coaches. “Would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?”
The surprised officials agreed. Mallory and teammate Liz Wallace promptly picked Sara up, gingerly letting her left foot down to touch each of the bases to get her home run.
This act of sportsmanship contributed to Central’s loss. Still, there were no regrets or angry words from Mallory’s teammates. They all agreed—helping the opponent was simply the right thing to do. And the crowd—which had heckled Sara for her diminutive size when she stepped up to bat—agreed, too. When the threesome arrived at home plate, they were greeted with a standing ovation, creating a memory no one at that day’s game will ever forget.
Sportsmanship. Pass It On!
This billboard about sportsmanship features Sara Tucholsky, Mallory Holtman, Liz Wallace.
This is inspiring! I wish I could do something like that.
Emma 28 days ago from Home
Thats pretty cool
Bryce 6 months ago from ND
I'm going through my digital photos after my first trip to New York City. I took a picture of the street sign, Father Duffy Square and a billboard of this story is in my photo. I immediately did an internet search to find out what the billboard is about. It brought a tear to my eyes because I injured my rotator cuff playing softball, the sport that I love, and to see this sportsmanship took my breath away. Go teams! I know you will be rewarded for your great deed.
Donna A 11 months ago from Harrisburg PA
I really loved this story, it makes me want to do good in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ally 12 months ago from Tahiti
How inspiring :)
Ally 12 months ago from Tahiti
that was the true lover of the game.
paul pueblas almost 2 years ago from philippines
that is an incredible story!those girls really know what sportsmanship is.
Sarah G about 2 years ago from Albany, New York
i love these billboards
emma over 2 years ago from ontario,canada
Life is not about settling scores,not beating one another in the game of life but it's truly about helping one another in the times of pain.This story is a perfect example to it.
Karunakar Koyyada over 2 years ago from Hyderabad
This was a amazing story, keep up the good work! (:
Jordan Caldwell almost 3 years ago from Adrian, Michigan
What good people do!!! It's how you play the game of life that counts. Great sportsmanship.
Jim almost 3 years ago from Tennessee
Wonderful!!! I think it would be cool to see these billboards all over Washington DC. Maybe some of the partisans that are keeping our government from tackling the problems we ALL face would be inspired... One can hope. :)
Mark B. almost 3 years ago from Chagrin Falls, OH
I think they had a lot of courage to help her to win. I also think that it was sad that she had stop her career because she hurt her leg.
Kimberly about 3 years ago from Des Monies,IA
You shouldn't miss John McCutcheon's wonderful and moving song about this incident.
Lee about 3 years ago from Alexandria, VA
Thats really cool.
noah about 3 years ago from owosso
This one is my favorite since I spend so much time at my son's sporting event. It is my wish that he will maintain excellent sportsman throughout his life.
Usha V about 3 years ago from Wellington, FL
That is so sweet of them to do that.
Frosty N about 3 years ago from Alabama
Very nice and that is true and amazing sportsmanship.
mt over 3 years ago from tx
The fast-pitch coach--Gary Frederick--helped to develop the character that those two players exhibited. He just retired recently and Mallory Holtman is the new coach.
Ken B over 3 years ago from Central Washington University
This was one of the best sports stories I've ever heard.
Tripper E over 3 years ago from Blythewood Middle School
I really like this because I'm a softball player and this would mean a lot to me.
ashlyn L. over 3 years ago from california
Ohhhh goodness, what sweethearts.
fdsfsf over 3 years ago from new jersey
This is a story of true team spirit and teamwork; you are an inspiration.
Kelly, F over 3 years ago from Chicago
Great story of real players who help each other and not worry about "winning", they won in their hearts and all who know them.
Terry I. almost 4 years ago from Utah
Great story, and amazing teamwork! Y'all are amazing to do that for the opposing team.
Meghan C almost 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN
When I first heard about this, it made me realize that if any girl player got hurt during one of my games I'd help no matter what.
Corey M almost 4 years ago from Florida
Pooh H. almost 4 years ago from USA
This is so cool. You guys are awesome for doing this for her and, by the way, nice hit!
Courtney Johannes almost 4 years ago from Carlisle, Iowa
Amazing and wonderful. I still have tears from reading this. A class act by two wonderful young ladies. We salute you here in the south bay Gilroy, CA.
Michael R. almost 4 years ago from GILROY, CA
I find this story amazing because they helped her even though it would cause them to lose the game!
Carlos G. almost 4 years ago from USA
Wow. I started crying, a most touching story. I wish I could have the courage to do things like that I would be one of the girls in the background watching because I am to scared to help others when I am competing against them. I think I'm inspired. Thank you girls.
Bella A. almost 4 years ago from USA
This is great
Joshua V almost 4 years ago from Adrian
This is good
Josh, V almost 4 years ago from Adrian
I absolutely love these billboards, they are so inspiring. I especially love the one on sportsmanship. As a softball player myself, I can relate to how much each team had at stake and it gives me chills to think of all that those girls sacrificed.
Kaity, U about 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada
As a coach and official, I saw the billboard in Kansas City. It took me several months to remember the Values.com site and to look it up. Great sportsmanship ladies. I try and teach sportsmanship first, give me 110 percent and do the best you can, but above all have fun. You three can play for me anytime. THANKS
Larry B. about 4 years ago from Nebraska City, NE
I am 58 years old. After reading this I cried and thanked God. These young women will be taking over where we left off.
John M. about 4 years ago from Huntsville,Texas
That's amazing what Mallory and her teammate did for Sara. Those two girls are amazing.
Tiffany S. about 4 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana
This is a wonderful story
Renee L. about 4 years ago from Alabama
Shelly, I can ask Sara to send you one if you wish. You can e-mail me at email@example.com. Please note poster in subject line. Sara's dad.
Mike T. over 4 years ago from Forest Grove, Oregon
I want to purchase a poster of this photo. Does anyone know where I can order it from?
Shelley O over 4 years ago from Peoria
That is a true winner.
Kelly, F over 4 years ago from Michigan
This is such a heart warming story
MacKenzie D. over 4 years ago from IN
What a testimony. My daughter was so moved by that. She also plays softball and every time we see the billboard she sheds a tear..
Elsa J. over 4 years ago from Houston, TX
Our pastor talked about this story in church a few weeks ago..soon after, I passed by the billboard myself as I rode on the bus. It made me teary eyed...these girls made the most of the opportunity given them and everyone was blessed by that. Would that we all can be that way too.
Meghan H. over 4 years ago from Seattle, WA
This is such a great representation of what true sportsmanship is all about. What a great example for the youth of America.
Devin S. over 4 years ago from Madison High School Adrian, Michigan
Really an amazing story...Mallory and Liz are the real winners.
Lyn Q. over 4 years ago from Philippines
I'm proud of those two girls. Unselfish acts like that are so rarely seen today. Mallory and Liz may Bless you.
Chris S. over 4 years ago from LA
I am proud to say that I am Central Washington University alumni. This made me even more proud to be a wildcat! :)
Jill C. over 4 years ago from Seattle, Wa
I love all the billboards but this is my favorite, I saw it again today and the story is definitely true sportsmanship and should but told to every child and athlete. there is a spot in my heart for those girls and how much they care!
M.C. over 4 years ago from Massachusetts
I saw this story on ESPN and nearly brought me to tears. The sportsmanship shown here is a total antithesis to almost 100% of today's athletes. I wish all the best for the all the girls of the Central Washington team. The girls who showed us true sportsmanship, and how the game should be played.
Chris W. over 4 years ago from Mississippi
This is my favorite billboard--I knew that would be the story just from driving by the photo. Let this be a pennant for all of us--this is the way we should win the game.
Kristen H. over 4 years ago from Georgia
What touches me most is the example it shows that we can all make the effort in everyday life with one another. We need to be a nation who reaches out for each other and helps to "round the bases." Bravo to these young women for being bigger than most of us. It sure is going to change how I live my everyday life! Bless them!
Diane K. over 4 years ago from Lincoln, NE
This is a story that needs to be told over and over again to our young people, especially those participating in team sports.
Linda C. over 4 years ago from Ocoee, FL
I was very familiar with this story as I am a softball fan. I found this billboard a very fitting tribute to these players who's selflessness led to what may very well be the single greatest act of good sportsmanship.....ever!
Bill Y. over 4 years ago from Little Hocking, OH
Through one simple action Liz and Mallory proved they will be winners throughout life. In a word CLASS.
James S. over 4 years ago from Chandler, IN
I'm so glad this has become a billboard... What a testimony to true sportsmanship!
CMW over 4 years ago from Florida
I'm not a sap but this story makes me tear up every time I read it or even just see the billboard. It is moving.
Cristy D. over 4 years ago from NJ
Brought tears to my eyes.
Cathy T. over 4 years ago from Houston
Amazing.. I don't think there will ever be an act of sportsmanship of this magnitude. Simply awesome!!
Ray B. almost 5 years ago from Lincoln, NE
This story really touched my heart as it has for so very many. I have a friend who played basketball at Central Washington under the same coach. I live in Lincoln, NE and when I saw this billboard today, I just couldn't believe it.... Imagine this billboard being in Lincoln,NE..WOW !
PS : I am an avid Creighton Bluejay softball fan, so you can imagine how this story touched my heart... There will never be another story like this one....
Ray B. almost 5 years ago from Lincoln, NE
I visited Central Washington a couple of years ago and the people were so friendly! Guess I am not the only one who thought so - what a class act!
Brad W. almost 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA
That is really cool! I don't know of anybody who would help another player if they were going to lose! That is how all sports should be played with good sportsmanship and hard work! Good job ladies wait to be good sports!
Trevor G. almost 5 years ago from Brookings,OR
That's an amazing show of sportsmanship! I don't even know if I would do that if I was going to lose. Great job Mallory and Liz!
Thomas S. almost 5 years ago from Brookings, OR
This really makes me think that we are all winners.
Claxton Z. almost 5 years ago from Sparta, MI
In the big picture of life, we are all on the same team. Its an act like this that should remind us all of that.
Jerry L. almost 5 years ago from Michigan
Has anyone seen this up anywhere? :)
Ann T. almost 5 years ago from Oregon
It is great to see young people still have integrity and values that supersede the worldly attitude of "must win no matter what the cost."
Chris T. almost 5 years ago from North Ogden, Utah
It's really heartening to know that there are still athletes who understand the true meaning of sportsmanship. You rock, ladies!!
Linda W. almost 5 years ago from Oregon
I worked at McDonald's in high school and in the summer different stores used to play each other in softball. I was so terrible (and yet so enthusiastic) that a manager from the other team helped me swing the bat, the pitcher threw it to me nicely, and two people on the other team "accidentally" dropped the ball.
I am many things, "proud" and "coordinated" are not on the list.
Bridgette G. almost 5 years ago from Indiana
Love of the game and each other overcame the love of winning!!
John W. almost 5 years ago from Hayden, Idaho
Imagine that, the real wins don't show on the scoreboard!
George B. almost 5 years ago from Quakertown, PA
Respect for your opponent is respect for the game and respect for yourself. Everyone wins.
Dale G. almost 5 years ago from Canada
What an amazing story! As a coach, I can only hope my students would have the same integrity! What an awesome story!
Kari S. almost 5 years ago from Centura, NE
This story really hit me hard!
Connor B. almost 5 years ago from Canada
I would love to forward this link to my Little League Softball team!
JoAnn G. almost 5 years ago from California
THAT IS REALLY GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP!
MATT Q. almost 5 years ago from CANADA
Having coached fast pitch women's softball for a number of years, this is not surprising.....it puts a lump in my throat still!
Steve C. almost 5 years ago from PA
That is such a good story. I love it.
James G. almost 5 years ago from Canada
Totally awesome DUDE!
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almost 5 years ago from Jamacia