Boy who idolizes umpires is now officiating Little League games

·1 min read

Raleigh, North Carolina — Most young fans want nothing more than to meet a real player at baseball games. But not Vincent Stio — he's more interested in the umpires.

As CBS News first reported in 2018, Stio was such a fan of umpires that every game he attended he mimicked their moves, standing in the front row at the Carolina Mudcats stadium near Raleigh.

"It's not something that we're really used to," umpire Reed Basner said at the time.

Stio got so into character, even the team's manager took him seriously, coming over to report a line-up change.

"Initially we thought maybe it was like a little bit of a phase type of thing," his dad, Vinnie, said back then.

"It's a two-year phase at this point," his mom, Maria, added.

They said it wasn't just at the stadium. At home, he would stand in front of the TV and do the same routine. He slept next to baseballs autographed by umpires. He even visited an umpire school, where he learned the proper way to call a strike.

In the four years since CBS News first told this story, the only thing that has changed is the venue. Stio now works real Little League games, sometimes umpiring for kids older than he is. Topps put him on a baseball card.

And he has every intention of making it to the majors one day, which is fine by his parents, as long as he continues to keep his room as clean as he did his imaginary home plate.

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