Amazing 16-Year-Old Baseball Player Helps Revive Umpire with CPR

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterApril 2, 2014

A glove and balls sit along the fense as the Minnesota Twins warm-up before an exhibition baseball game in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert

Quick thinking and handy CPR training made a huge difference recently when a 16-year-old first baseman helped save an umpire who collapsed on the field. 

WXIA-11 in Atlanta (h/t Yahoo Sports) reports on a harrowing moment in a game between Rockdale County and Newton County High School (Ga.) JV teams when an umpire's plight garnered the quick and remarkable assistance of a young man whose training two weeks ago may have just saved the day. 

First baseman Alex Norwood was nearby and explained the umpire "spun around like he'd gotten hit, and he just collapsed." 

Rockdale coach Jerrid Harris described the scary moment:

As we're tearing off his shirt and getting his chest protector off, that's when I asked, 'Who all knows CPR?' And the voice behind me was confident, quick, and said, 'I know how to do CPR, I'm ready to go.' And I turned around and I saw Alex. He got in there and started chest compressions immediately.

Here is the report's video: 

Harris would later explain to Scott Stump of that he was pleasantly astonished: "I've never seen anything like it before. It was amazing how his instinct was to run toward the crisis. He was so amazingly confident and never hesitated."

According to WXIA-11, Norwood was hoping to earn his lifeguard certification, so CPR training was mandatory. 

Still, you will have trouble getting Norwood to accept much praise, based on his own assessment of the role he played in helping to revive umpire Woody Reagin:

And I checked for a pulse and he didn't have anything. And I only did the first set of 30 compressions before the EMT got there, so I really don't feel like I did that much.

When I was taking the class, I didn't really think about it, I mean, I've had friends that have life-guarded before and they've never had to use it, ever. So I just thought, you know, it was something I had to do to get the certification. But Friday night showed that it really is important to know how to do it, because I mean, I don't know how much I did, but I mean, it could have helped. has some good news:

Reagin remains hospitalized, but Harris said he has been told by those close to his family that doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery.

Obviously, the effort has earned the well-deserved adulation from those close to Norwood.

Photo Credit: WXIA

But this story should serve as more than just a valuable lesson on quick thinking, because it illustrates just how important something like CPR training can prove to be—at least that is what Marybeth Norwood, Norwood's mother, is proclaiming. 

"Everybody needs to be getting CPR or heart-saver certified," Marybeth Norwood said. "We would like to shift the attention from Alex to the importance of everybody being trained. Alex got on that guy's chest in less than 60 seconds, which was crucial."

With the story slowly creeping across the Internet, the hope is that other's follow Norwood's lead, accomplishing just what his mother would like: inspiring more people, young and old, to get certified. 

Norwood might be modest about the extent to which he aided Reagin, but we are willing to wager he did a great deal to strengthen the cause of those who insist more people become CPR certified. 

Regardless, the young JV player from Georgia certainly did far more than he's willing to take credit for, and we all thank him for it. 


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