DENVER (CBS4) – Video of adults brawling at a youth baseball game in Lakewood this month left a Major League Baseball umpire stunned.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Salida native Chris Guccione. “I watched the video multiple times. I read the articles and I was just dumbfounded, saddened.”
From his Denver home, he told CBS4’s Joel Hillan that the moment he saw the video, his heart was drawn to the 13-year-old umpire whose call was at the center of the brawl.
“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,” he said.
To reward that courage, Chris invited Josh Cordova to Sunday afternoon’s Rockies vs Dodgers game at Coors Field.
“I don’t think he slept a wink last night, you know,” said Josh’s dad, Josh Cordova Sr.
Josh’s mom, dad and brothers all got to attend as well.
“It means so much,” said Josh Cordova Jr. “I’m so appreciative for everything that he’s done, and it’s kind of surreal I never thought it would be this big, and I would be here right now.”
And with the media gathered, Josh had a message for those young players he was umpiring for.
“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.
“Don’t let this deter you from the game you love which is baseball,” Josh’s dad added, who was beaming with pride for his oldest son and namesake.
“I’m super proud of Josh and the way he handled it and the way he conducted himself.”