To the Editor: Sports Mailbag: Reader upset at team’s lack of sportsmanship

I have a son that plays Little League baseball and is on the "B" league. We had tournaments
this past weekend in Luckey and played a total of 5 games. We won 3 and lost 2 and were beat out of the
tournament Sunday afternoon.
My son played his heart out during each game and was satisfied with the place they finished. After our
defeat, we went thru the ritual of saying "good game" and clapping the hands of the opposing
team and our boys then lined up to receive their participation medals for playing in the tournament. I
stood there and took pictures out on the field and cheered proudly as my son received his.
He has played baseball for the past 4 years and has never once held his head down at a loss. As I cheered
him on I noticed him tearing up and hanging his head low. I told him how proud we were of him and to put
his head up. He looked at me and said "Mom, they didn’t even cheer us on." He pointed over to
the team that beat us (Luckey), put his head down and slowly walked away.
I wasn’t sure what he was talking about because I wasn’t paying any attention to their team at that
point. I went over to my son and asked what he meant and then I realized why my 8 year old was so down.
After we lost our game and went out to line up on the field, the team that beat us ran the bases
cheering for their victory … running through our team that was lined up to receive our awards. Then
they proceeded to their dugout and left. It has been many, many years since I have played Little League
ball but I was taught the same sportsmanship and respect my son has been taught the last 4 years. When
you beat a team out of tournaments, you stand on the field with that defeated team and clap as each
players name is called and they receive their award, you give them respect and show good sportsmanship
… then you celebrate your victory.
It saddens me that my son was more upset about the other team disrespecting them than he was about
losing. So, to the coaches of Luckey "B" boys, we hope you can learn from this and teach your
team good sportsmanship and respect when you win a future tournament game. And, to the Bloomdale
"B" boys coaches (Max, Jerry, Scott and Rod) … thank you for teaching our team how to
respect the other team.
Emily Taft
Bloomdale