Baseball is a game that unites all. With every pitch thrown and every ball sent soaring out of the park, the roar of the crowd is synonymous with what every player in the ballpark is feeling at that moment. In the World Baseball Classic showdown between Japan and the Czech Republic, the first-timers proved to be formidable in their own right. The game was full of flustering moments. The Czech team gained an early lead and, in a moment of blazing glory, their pitcher Ondrej Satoria struck out the legendary Shohei Ohtani.
However, despite the Czech team’s valiant efforts, Japan eventually found its groove and, in the end, emerged as victors. Talking about flustering moments, during a defensive play, pitcher Rouki Sasaki’s 101 mph fastball hit Czech batter William Escala in the knee, causing him to double over in pain. However, the moment passed, and the game went on, but Sasaki appeared to feel rueful at the moment and it seems like he didn’t forget about it.
What the World Baseball Classic is all about!
Baseball is not only about the adrenaline-fueled moments on the field, but it’s also about the relationships that players form with each other. So, let’s take a step back and talk about the third day of the championship. In one breath-hitching moment, pitcher Rouki Sasaki threw a fastball that hit batter William Escala right in the knee, causing him to crumple in pain to the ground. Sasaki looked genuinely concerned, but the game eventually resumed.
And it seems like the pitcher couldn’t shake off the feeling that he had to make things right. So, on Japan’s day off, in a wholesome moment, he woke up early and waited outside the Czech team’s hotel for Escala to emerge. When he finally did, the Japanese athlete personally apologized to him and bought him two bags of candy.
View this post on Instagram
The good-natured athletes posed for a photograph together, smiling as if they were old friends. The Czech player was holding onto the huge bags of candy that Sasaki had bought him. It was a heartwarming moment that showed that even in the most competitive of environments, sportsmanship and respect are what truly matter. Injuries are a part of the game, and both players knew that accidents can happen at any time. They for sure didn’t take it to heart!
How are fans reacting to Rouki Sasaki’s gesture of sportsmanship?
The fans are loving the display of pure humanity, and they have poured in their love and appreciation for the two players. Here is how they reacted:
They reminded us of important things we had forgotten.
— マツヲ (@mkXG9EH0xKo0JfH) March 13, 2023
— D. Maria II (@dmariaii) March 13, 2023
— Kingoslangos (@kingoslangos) March 13, 2023
He's such a gentleman pic.twitter.com/QlmZE4qvYW
— Iva Kaderková (@KaderkovaIva) March 13, 2023
It is incredible to see the stark contrast between the looks of concern and pain on both their faces during the game versus the smiles they share now.
Happily ever after pic.twitter.com/YmLkDqxbth
— Yakyu Cosmopolitan (@yakyucosmo) March 13, 2023
true sportsmanship and professionalism at its finest !
— ushigome k (@eirraceeb) March 13, 2023
The respect and the sportsmanship that these players show towards each other is a moment that makes baseball what it is!
WATCH THIS STORY: 5 Movies for Every Baseball Fanatic