8 adorable ways the Little League World Series proves sportsmanship is alive

We can learn a lot from Little League.

Whether you're talking about the Deflategate controversy or just your run-of-the-mill bench-clearing brawl, sports can be a little, well, unsportsmanlike from time to time.

What's a fan to do to keep from becoming cynical? For me, the answer is simple: the Little League World Series.


You'll be smiling along from your living room couch. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images.

Each summer, 16 of the top Little League teams from all over the world come together in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to compete for the championship. The quality of play is pretty amazing, but the best part about it, in my opinion, is how the players carry themselves.

The 10-day tournament ended on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, with Tokyo, Japan, beating Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, to take the title. Here are eight moments from the contest that remind us that sportsmanship is still alive.

1. Little Leaguers will show you when they're impressed — even if it's by their competitors.

It's hard to think of a more demoralizing situation than this: Webb City, Missouri, was already trailing Pennsylvania 14-0 when the Keystone State's Cole Wagner blasted a grand slam out of the park.

Instead of hanging his head in frustration, Missouri pitcher Mekhi Garrard's face was a picture of disbelief, awe, and admiration as he watched the ball sail over the fence.

Mekhi Garrard surrendered a homer and then looked really impressed by just how far it went. That's the spirit! Image via ESPN.

2. They apologize for their mistakes.

After Chinese Taipei pitcher Wei Hung Chou threw a pitch that struck Uganda's Joshua Olara, the pitcher immediately went over to first base. He took off his hat and bowed to Olara, who then returned this act of respect.

Classy: Uganda's Joshua Olara forgives the pitcher after being hit by a pitch. Image via ESPN.

When the next batter hit the ball, Olara slid hard into second, taking out a much smaller second baseman from Chinese Taipei. The Ugandan player was called out, but made sure to help his opponent up with a hug before returning to the dugout

A hard slide, but no hard feelings. Image via Little League Baseball and Softball.

3. Family comes first.

In a qualifying game, South Burlington, Vermont, was trailing Cranston, Rhode Island, 6-0 with pitcher Vermont's Seamus McGrath having a rough time on the mound. Sean McGrath, the team's manager (and the pitcher's father), made the call to bring in a new pitcher, a decision no dad would envy.

After explaining the switch to his team, he made sure to give his son a hug and tell him, “'I'm so proud of you. I love you kid," before heading back to the dugout.

Sean McGrath hugs his son Seamus. We're tearing up over here. Image via ESPN.

4. They'll acknowledge a great play, even if it gives their opponents the lead.

In extra innings of an international semifinal game, Japan gave up two home runs to Venezuela to fall behind 4-2.

As Yeiner Fernandez, the Venezuelan player who hit the second homer, rounded the bases, he received a high five from the Japanese third baseman.

The third baseman gave Fernandez a high-five after his home run. Image via Little League Baseball and Softball.

5. Fans don't only cheer for the home team.

This year, Venezuela won the Latin American championship to make it to Williamsport. Broadcasters said no family members could afford to make the trip, but the team was not without a cheering section. Local fans came together to root for the squad from Venezuela.

A fan shows Venezuelan pride. ¡Chévere! Image via Little League Baseball and Softball

6. They support their teammates after tough calls.

In the sixth inning of the international final game, a Mexican outfielder nearly made a great catch in left field. Unfortunately, he dropped the ball when trying to throw it in, and the batter was called safe.

He was upset about the play, but his teammates immediately surrounded him to offer support and encouragement.

Team Mexico hugging it out. Image via Little League Baseball and Softball

7. Volunteers make the tournament possible.

The Little League World Series has become a huge event, with players and fans from all over the world coming to the competition. Many people volunteer to make the experience possible, from umpires and grounds crew, to concession stand workers and team hosts.

The folks in blue do it just for the love of the game. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

8. They keep things in perspective.

Japan beat Pennsylvania in the finals to become the 2015 Little League World Series champions. As hugs were exchanged in the handshake line, many of the Pennsylvania boys were smiling despite their loss (not the ones here, but trust me, some of them were!).

Good game, good game, good game. Now the pizza party? Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Because, at the end of the day, baseball is just a game, but the memories will last a lifetime.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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