DENVER (CBS4)– Salida High School graduate Chris Guccione is a Major League Baseball umpire. He wants to make sure that the teen umpire caught in the middle of the youth baseball brawl sees another side to the job.
Police in Lakewood issued 12 citations to those who were involved in a brawl at a youth baseball game on June 15. The fight between men and women as well as one 16-year-old was caught on camera.
“Every night I’m lucky. I look around sometimes and think, ‘I can’t believe I get to do this!’ It’s special,” said Guccione.
The basement of Guccione’s Denver home is a museum of memories, dedicated to the game he loves.
He was on the road when he first saw the video of the children’s baseball game in Lakewood that got out of control.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I watched the video multiple times. I read the articles and I was just dumbfounded, saddened.”
But in the chaos of the moment, Chris’s heart was drawn to the 13-year-old umpire, Josh, who was working the game that afternoon.
“I’m proud of him. He stood up for what was right, he took charge, he confronted another individual that was much older than him, he could have very easily backed down but he didn’t and I commend him for that. That takes a lot of courage.”
So, he reached out to Josh’s dad, inviting him to Sunday’s Rockies vs. Dodgers game at Coors Field. The father-son duo accepted the invitation.
“I’m really excited to meet Josh and his family and I want to encourage him to keep doing what’s right and what’s right for the game of baseball.”
A message of support for the young man who refused to back down.
“Continue to have courage and bravery and stick up for what’s right. No matter what situation you’re in, umpiring or life.”