Seven-year-old Bauer Zoya was in the catcher position when he got caught up in a “dust devil” that took his breath away. Although the miniature whirlwind was short-lived, it left the boy struggling.
Seeing the young athlete floundering, umpire Aiden Wiles quickly swooped in to rescue Bauer, who appeared disoriented in a video of the incident.
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“I couldn’t breathe that much,” the little boy recalled during an interview with WJXT-TV. “So I held my breath and I feel like I couldn’t touch the ground. So I kind of lifted up a little bit.”
The ordeal unfolded on the Fort Caroline Athletic Association baseball field in Florida, where Bauer’s team, the Ponte Verde Sharks, were competing Sunday afternoon.
Wiles, a high school baseball player, is being hailed a hero for his quick action, MEAWW reported.
One social media user wrote, “Not all heroes wear capes. Big W from the umpire here.”
“That ump deserves more [than] the usual $50 per game that they usually get,” added another.
Someone else wrote, “Class act, Mr. Umpire.”
The National Weather Service defines a “dust devil” as “a small, rapidly rotating wind that is made visible by the dust, dirt, or debris it picks up.”
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