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Child Ballplayer Rewarded for Integrity

Seven-year-old first baseman Tanner Munsey never thought he'd end up in Sports Illustrated, but he did. While playing T-Ball in Wellington, Florida, Tanner fielded a ground ball and tried to tag a runner going from first to second base.

The umpire, Laura Benson, called the runner out, but young Tanner immediately ran to her side and said, "Ma'am, I didn't tag the runner." Umpire Benson reversed herself and sent the runner to second base.

Two weeks later, Laura Benson was again the umpire and Tanner was playing shortstop. This time Benson ruled that Tanner had missed the tag on a runner going to third base, and she called the runner safe. Tanner, obviously disappointed, tossed the ball to the pitcher and returned to his position. Benson asked Tanner what was wrong, and Tanner quietly said he'd tagged the boy.

Umpire Benson's response? "You're out!" She sent the runner to the bench. When the opposing coach rushed the field to protest, Benson explained what had happened two weeks before, saying, "If a kid is that honest, I have to give it to him."

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