AN HONEST KID
Organized youth baseball is all too often ruined by pushy parents and overbearing coaches. But here’s a story to restore one’s faith.
At a T-ball game in Wellington, Fla., earlier this year, first baseman Tanner Munsey, 7, fielded a ground ball and tried to tag a runner going from first base to second. The umpire, Laura Benson, called the runner out, but Tanner immediately approached her and said, “Ma’am, I didn’t tag the runner.” Benson awarded the runner second base and Tanner’s coach gave him the game ball for his honesty.
In a game two weeks later, with Benson again umpiring and Tanner playing shortstop, a similar play occurred. This time Benson thought Tanner had missed the tag on a runner going to third, and she called the runner safe. Tanner glanced at Benson and, without saying a word, flipped the ball to the catcher and returned to his position. Benson sensed something was wrong. “Did you tag the runner?” she asked Tanner.
“Yes,” he replied.
Benson then called the runner out. The opposing coaches protested until she explained what had happened two weeks earlier. Says Benson, “If a kid is that honest, I have to give it to him. T-ball is supposed to be for the kids.”