Rarely will you hear a 6-year-old fan of America’s Pastime say they want to grow up to be the one deciding between strikes and balls instead of throwing them.
Who can blame them? Baseball umpires are treated like the pesky weeds in our backyards. Coaches kick dirt on them and parents fling insults their way. It’s a tough job.
One little boy in Louisiana doesn’t see it that way. He does more than idolize the ump, he’s training to became one.
Young Boy Imitates His Idol Umpire
Is it just me or are there two real umpires here? I can’t tell the difference.
This young boy’s name is Lathan. When he attended a baseball game in Hammond, Louisiana decked out in black umpire gear, he became a hit at the field and on social media.
Hutch Gonzales was at the game and captured a video of little Lathan mimicking the home plate umpire’s every move. Not only does have a face mask and a pouch for baseballs on his belt loop, he also has the ball-and-strike counter in his hand.
When Gonzales asks what the count is, Lathan throws up his fingers like a 20-year MLB veteran. He then delivers a perfect strike call in stride. And get this: he called it a strike before his idol umpire did.
Gonzales told Storyful Lathan and his family are regulars at baseball parks. He got fed up with just watching the games, so he began helping his fellow umpires out.
“Everyone at the ballpark eventually gathered to watch him. He’s a star around here now,” Gonzales said.
Lathan went viral for his performance at this March 28 baseball game. The original tweet has been viewed more than 25,000 times and he made it on Good Morning America.
Considering how much MLB umpires make, I don’t blame Lathan for getting a head start on his completion. Major League Baseball needs to give this kid a tryout ASAP.