When Major League Baseball umpire Chris Guccione heard about a 13-year-old who was officiating a youth baseball game that ended with adults brawling, he wanted to lend his support to the teen umpire. Guccione, who is from Colorado, reached out to the teen’s father and invited them to come to an MLB game.
Guccione is an active supporter of UMPS CARE Charities, the official philanthropy of MLB umpires, and he turned to the non-profit organization to support Josh and his family.
Through Major League Baseball, the Colorado Rockies and UMPS CARE Charities, Josh Cordova, the teen umpire, and his family will be special guests at the Colorado Rockies game Sunday at Coors Field. The umpire crew, with Guccione on staff, will meet with Josh and his family before the game to talk with him about the umpiring profession and to provide a positive ballpark experience.
Guccione, now in his 20th season as an MLB umpire, knows firsthand what it is like to be a teen umpire in Colorado. He began his own umpiring career when he was about the same age as Josh Cordova and certainly can relate to the pressures. “I am excited to see him and meet their whole family,” Guccione said. “It is an extremely hard job to be an umpire and keep the peace and to make the calls. I just want Josh and his family to have a great time at the ballpark.”
“The support has been amazing,” said Jennifer Carriera, Josh’s mother. “We are really looking forward to this experience.”
Founded in 2006 through the compassion of MLB umpires, UMPS CARE Charities will bring nearly 800 guests from various community organizations to MLB ballparks this season in addition to making 16 visits to pediatric hospitals this season alone. UMPS CARE also provides college scholarships and supports the umpire community.