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Video: Umpire saves child from dust devil at Jacksonville youth baseball game

The teen umpire managed to battle the wind to save the catcher who was trapped in the dust devil.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Baseball hitters are always hoping the wind will be blowing out, but not in all directions.

The video that has 'swept up' plenty of attention on social media.

A dust devil popped up at a youth baseball game near Ft. Caroline Road Sunday.

The umpire is used to calling balls and strikes, but it put him in a position where he had to make a call he wasn't expecting to make.

"I've never seen anything like that my whole entire life, on or off the field," said Umpire Aidan Wiles.

As an umpire and baseball player, Wiles sees plenty of breaking balls with plenty of spin.

But the air around the ball spinning, that's a new one.

"I was looking at the pitch, and then I look to my right and see this dust storm," said Wiles.

Wiles says the rocks scratched up his chest and stomach as he tried to get out of the way, but he wound up running right back in when saw the catcher needed help.

"At first I was freaked out myself until I saw him trapped in it," said Wiles. "So, I decided to run in there and grab it out of it."

First Coast News Meteorologist Lauren Rautenkranz answered the question many on social media have asked: What was that thing?

"It's a dust devil. It's not a tornado," said Rautenkranz. "So what happens on a bright, sunny day, is that we heat up really quickly. Especially when we have that dry air. So, we had the difference in the temperatures. So that's why we had that rotating column of air swirl right up in an unfortunate spot for that little kiddo."

Wiles says the player seemed to be in a bit of shock afterward, but after getting some water splashed in his face, he was able to finish catching the game.

He plans to check back in with him to make sure he's still doing ok.


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