A dust devil surprised a baseball catcher on the field during a youth game on Mother’s Day in Jacksonville, Florida.
But a quick-thinking teen umpire sprang into action and pulled the young player out of the column of dust, a video shows.
The video, which was taken by Ben Watkins and shared by Sports Report +/TMX, shows the dust devil materialize out of nowhere just over home plate.
The player, a 7-year-old catcher named Bauer Zoya, appears startled as he spins around in confusion inside the dust devil.
The umpire, 17-year-old Aidan Wiles, then darts into the dust, grabs Bauer and carries him out.
Bauer told McClatchy News that he was a little scared at first.
“I didn’t want to feel like ‘Twister’ the movie,” he said. “I wanted to feel something happy.”
Aidan told McClatchy News that growing up with a younger sister and lots of little cousins helped prepare him for that moment.
“I reacted and just ran in and grabbed him and got him out of it as quickly as I could,” he said.
Bauer’s father, Brian Zoya, told McClatchy News that he was watching from the dugout.
“It happened so fast,” he said. “Thankfully Aidan was there to get my son out of the way.”
But Zoya said the brief fright didn’t phase his son much. During the next game, he made an “amazing play,” ripped his mask off and caught a foul ball, he said.
Aidan, who is in his junior year of high school, said he wants to play baseball in college.
But Bauer still has time to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up. For now, he said he likes playing baseball because it makes him happy. And he had one very important message for Wiles.
“Thank you very much, Aidan,” he said. “I wish I would see him again.”
Dust devils occur when a land surface heats up rapidly, causing a brief whirlwind of air that often kicks up dust and leaves, according to Britannica.
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