14-year-old umpire in Lakewood youth baseball brawl gets new gear
Local Company owned by NFL Ref Donates Equipment to Young Umpire
DENVER -- It's not often you see a 14 year old receive so much admiration from a group of professionals.
But Josh Cordova is the talk of the professional officiating community.
On Monday, 12-year veteran NFL referee Greg Wilson presented Cordova with a new set of umpiring gear, including shinguards, a face mask and a chest protector.
Just a week ago, Major League Baseball umpire Chris Guccione brought him to Coors Field.
"I'm proud of ya, I support ya and what you did is the right thing," Guccione said.
Cordova was the umpire of the little league game in Lakewood at the time a brawl erupted on the field. With all the negative publicity it has caused, the officials want the spotlight on the young man who was the calm in the storm.
"I admire the way he acted; like an adult in a situation where adults acted like children," Greg Wilson said.
"It was scary. Not just for me, but the 7 year olds there. I don’t want them to have the idea of baseball being like that. I want them to see baseball as a great game and learn to love it just as I have," Cordova said.
It's not just Cordova's action that Wilson and Guccione want to highlight, but also the dwindling number of officials in youth sports.
“A big reason that there's such a huge shortage is due to the fact of the parents' behavior that was exhibited at Josh's baseball game," Wilson said.
The only change Wilson hopes for is Cordova's sport of choice.
"Right now it sounds like he's an umpire but I want to swing him more toward the football side," Wilson said.
Either way, the young man has options.