A small-town Kentucky Little League championship game featuring the Reds & Rangers was marred by an ugly incident Monday night that included one parent ripping off his shirt, coaches fighting, f-bombs, wives trying to hold back their husbands and it has all led to a police investigation that could lead to criminal charges.
Videos out of tiny Stanton, KY (pop. 2,733) show an unidentified man run onto the field and rip off his shirt as emotions boiled over due to a coach disputing a call. Rangers head coach Jimmy Smith has issued a public Facebook apology over his role as the one who questioned a call that led to the fracas.
"I want to start by apologizing for raising my voice and disputing a call at last night's game. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and it doesn't represent the love that I have for coaching the kids in our community. To hear people calling me the things they were calling me last night really hurts because, without a doubt, I love all of these kids and enjoy every moment coaching them!" Jimmy said on Facebook.
The beginning of the altercation:
The end of the altercation:
"I never touched anyone. Yes, I was upset over a bad call, but I would never fistfight anyone in front of kids!" Smith added on Facebook. "I will stand up for my team 10/10 times, and you tell me one coach who wouldn't?!?! And in this video, I specifically said he dropped the ball while their parents were heckling me!"
Steve Randall, the opposing coach, has issued his own statement via Facebook and wants to know if Smith will stand up with him to honor the players who fought for that championship before the parents went nuts.
"Jimmy Smith, you wanna make this right? At this point all I care about is getting these kids what they deserve. You call me tomorrow and let’s schedule a time we can have both teams at the field and hand them their deserved trophy. What you did was wrong, what I did was wrong and it was a disservice to the kids. We name the Rangers and Reds co-champions and be done with it. You go your way I’ll go mine. I will be waiting for your phone call tomorrow," Randall wrote.
At this time, it's unclear if Smith and Randall have come to terms on a co-champion plan or if this will have to go to arbitration with a mediator ruling on which team will be sole 2021 league champions. As for the police, they tell the Lexington Herald-Leader that an investigation is underway. “We’re going to speak to everybody that we can, and if the (Powell) county attorney recommends charges, that’s what we’ll do,” Stanton police Sgt. Ian Morton told the paper.
Remember, always have your phones charged up for those late-inning heated moments where emotions boil over and shirts start being ripped off. Hit record and then send them my way: firstname.lastname@example.org