BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A second-grader from Hammond is making a name for himself in the record books. Lathan Williams, 7, known as “Lathan the Kid Umpire” on social media, is now the youngest person to call a sanctioned baseball game.
“There are records of all kinds with officials and things of that sort, but there’s not an official record for the youngest umpire to umpire a sanctioned baseball game,” said Wayne Grenfell, director of operations for Ascension Parish Little League.
Williams, accompanied by his parents, was the only umpire on the field during the doubleheader. “This is my day,” Williams told the cameras.
The young man had been preparing since he first fell in love with the zebra stripes.
“At 5 years old, he dressed up as a referee for Halloween,” said Kristin Williams, Lathan’s mother. “For Christmas, he asked for umpire gear and Santa came through, and from there, the rest is history – like we’re making history tonight.”
Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment was present for the record-setting event.
“You can see around with all the young kids coming out, and that’s what recreational sports are all about, is keeping kids busy, happy and learning team sports, and how to win, and how to lose,” said Cointment.
Some may say what Williams lacks in stature, he makes up with confidence, not just in his calls behind the plate, but when it comes to respecting his position as well.
“One was arguing with me, and one threw dirt on me, so I threw both of the coaches out,” said Williams after ejecting two coaches in the bottom of the ninth inning from the first game.
“He’s the best umpire – and no disrespect to the umpires we have – he is the best umpire to step on that field in the history of this ballpark, I promise you that,” said Grenfell.