The Best Bad Call

Story of the Day for Monday July 1, 2013

The Best Bad Call

If your adversary is hungry, give him something to eat.

Romans 12:20

The decision of the umpires was later found to be in error, but I’m so happy that they got it wrong.

Central Washington University was hosting Western Oregon University in 2008 in the last game of the season. The winner would earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament in Division II woman’s softball.

Western Oregon sent Sara Tucholsky to the plate. With two runners on base she hit a home run – the first one of her career. She was so jubilant that she forgot to Listep on first base. Realizing her mistake, she spun around so quickly that she tore the ACL in her knee. As she lay writhing in pain, her teammates were helpless. If they touched her, that would constitute assisting a base runner and she would be called out.

After conferring on the rules, an umpire told Western Oregon’s head coach, Pam Knox, that a pinch runner could come in for her, but it would be credited as a single, and her home run would be taken away.

It broke the coach’s heart to erase the only home run of Sara’s career, but she was clearly unable to tag the bases on her own.

At that moment, however, Mallory Holtman, the star player for the opposing team ran up to an umpire and asked, “Would it be okay if we carried her around and she touched each bag?” The ump shrugged and said there was no rule against it.

So, Holtman, and her teammate, Liz Wallace, gingerly picked her up and started walking her around the bases. When they came to a base, they would gently lower her good leg and tap the base with Sara’s foot.

As the three girls rounded the bases, the crowd gave them all a standing ovation.

This caring act for their opponent ended up costing Mallory and Liz’s team the game – ending their hopes of getting into the tournament. But no one seemed to care.

Mallory Holtman viewed Sara Tucholsky as her opponent . . . until she was overcome by compassion for her need.

We are so easily angered by the behavior of our enemies. But what if we focused more on their hurts. Their needs. What if, when we noticed how hungry they were, we gave them some of our food?

The NCAA later said the umpire’s ruling was in error. A substitute could have run the bases and Sara would’ve been awarded a home run.

I’m so glad, however, that the umpire got it wrong. Far more important than a correct ruling was what happened to our hearts when two brave women helped their opponent when she was hurting.

Have you ever been glad when a ruling was wrong? What hurts, needs, wants do your enemies have that you could focus on instead of their obnoxious behavior? Have you ever helped an opponent when they have been hurting? Tell us about it.

(text copyright 2011 by and by Marty Kaarre)


4 thoughts on “The Best Bad Call”

  1. Dear Marty, I just finished reading your wonderful book nd want you to know that we have truly enjoyed it. How delightful to connect w/you after many years. Ross & I have been friends w/your parents since the 60s when you lived in Kalkaska. You were just a kid & we have kept up w/your family through your folks all these years. I ordered your book thro’ a call from your dad. What a joy to see the Lord working through every delightful tale! Thank you for all you have chosen to do! Ross has dementia but I have read him several of your stories & he can identify w/many. He especialy liked the one on your dog howling. We always had a Lab or Setter. We are doing fine… we retired to the U.P. of MI but have winter home in FL so we truly feel blessed. May God continue to bless you & your family. God’s Peace & love, Fayth & Ross Wolfe

  2. So good to hear from you! And thanks for the kind words about the book. I remember your place on Lake Margareth (please excuse the faulty spelling). God’s richest blessings to both of you! Marty

  3. Larry & Rae Workman gave your book to me for Christmas. I had to purchase 2 more for a long time Junior High friend and our new pastor. I love that Osmoe is growing on me (though I don’t think my daughter will let me rename her puppy!) Looking forward to continued editions – you made laugh, contemplate, and examine values which truly endure. Looking forward to future additions!
    Story of the day – Climbing Higher – Heart wrenching yet well played by the compassion exhibited by the opposing team recognizing the wounded player would have most likely won the game. Again well done!

    1. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Hope your jr. high friend and your pastor will also enjoy the book. Did Larry and Rae send you the two books or do we need to do that? We are presently working to on revamping this site but if you are interested in reading a story posted each day on line you can go to and when this site is up and running well then we can reroute you again. Again thanks and hope you continue to enjoy Story of the Day! Blessings to you.

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