An MLB umpiring crew went to bat over the weekend for a 13-year-old boy who saw adults brawl as he umpired a game for 7-year-olds.
The crew was working the Colorado Rockies game Sunday when they invited Josh Cordova onto the field. They also presented him with a new chest protector.
Viral video captured the nasty brawl which erupted at a June 15 youth baseball game that Josh was umpiring in Colorado. Josh said the fighting started after he issued a warning to the adults on both sides for cursing and the coaches got in his face.
“When I saw the story I was shocked and I was saddened and I wanted to reach out,” Crew member Chris Guccione said, KUSA-TV reported. “Yeah, I've never witnessed anything like that. I've never seen anything like that. Yeah, when I was Josh's age there was a few screams and disagreements from the parents in the stands. But, nothing, [like] what he experienced."
He and the other umps told Josh not to let the brawl interfere with his dreams of becoming a big league ump someday.
“I think I'm gonna continue umpiring for a while,” Josh said, according to the station. “And hopefully, [I’ll] make it [as a] professional like he is,” referring to Guccione.
Eleven adults and a 16-year-old were issued summonses for disorderly conduct as a result of the brawl. All have appearances in court at a later date.
“These coaches and parents, unhappy with a baseball game involving 7-year-olds and a 13-year-old umpire, took over the field and began assaulting each other,” Lakewood Police said.
The 7-year-olds had their season come to an abrupt end as their remaining games were canceled by league officials.
Josh had a message for those idled young players Sunday, CBS 4 Denver reported.
“I don’t want them to have the idea that baseball is like that, I want them to have the idea that baseball is a great game and learn to love the game just like I have,” he said.