Northfield baseball team honored for reporting its own violation in tournament

It’s been more than a month since the Northfield 12A Gold Baseball team ratted itself out, costing it a tournament championship. But people haven’t forgotten.

This week the kids and their coaches were honored for sportsmanship, Northfield News says.

In a tournament in Owatonna in June, one of the team’s pitchers had gone over his allotted pitch count. Nobody noticed.

The team noticed and when coaches notified the umpire, they forfeited the game and their shot at the tournament championship. They finished second.

Coach Chris Pegram was initially disappointed in himself for calling attention to the violation, the News says.

He’s got more perspective now.

“It’s great and it’s a great lesson for the kids, too,” Pegram said. “That’s been the best part, is for them just to see it’s more than about how the scoreboard is at the end of the game. There’s more to it than that. It’s just a good learning lesson for all the kids. To get recognized that way feels really good and I’m really happy for the kids.”

At Sechler Park this week, the team was honored by Youth 1st, which specializes in recognizing acts of positive sportsmanship by youth sports teams, according to the paper.

After each game of the tournament, the umpires were asked to submit a report saying if the teams displayed postive or negative sportsmanship. Northfield was given a 100 percent positive mark.

As a result, the Raiders received a plaque, certificates and will participate in a pre-game parade prior to an upcoming Twins game at Target Field.

“This has always been a great group of kids,” Northfield coach Chris Pegram said. “Going into that tournament I just kind of felt good about the quality of players we had and the quality of kids we had. It really wasn’t surprising. The parents have just been great throughout. I’d say it wasn’t really a big surprise.”

The team will be honored before a future Minnesota Twins game at Target Field.