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Youth Baseball Coach Broke 72-Year-Old Umpire’s Jaw in Dispute

A youth baseball umpire was attacked by a coach during a game in Branchburg, New Jersey earlier this month and was left with a broken jaw from the incident, league president Brian Delahant told Matthew Stanmyre of NJ.com on Tuesday.

The attack occurred during a 13-and-under U.S. Amateur Baseball League tournament game and involved a 72-year-old umpire, the league said. 

According to the league, the coach argued with the umpire over a call and was ejected from the game. At that point, the coach confronted the umpire and punched him in the face before fleeing the scene.

The umpire’s jaw was fractured in two places and was wired shut during surgery, the league said. Michael Schutta, director of public safety for Branchburg police, told NJ.com Tuesday that the incident was reported to the department and is now under investigation.

The coach and his team, who are from Staten Island, have both been banned from playing in the U.S. Amateur Baseball League, according to Delahant.

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“The environment for youth sports has become toxic,” Delahant told NJ.com. “No one can lose a game anymore without blaming somebody else. We need to teach our kids that they’re not going to win every game they play and how to lose with respect for both their opponents as well as the officials on the game.”

Delahant said the umpire is currently recovering from his injuries and recently attended the game of the other team that witnessed the attack “to show the kids he was OK and support their team.”

Editors’ note, June 15 at 5:10 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this story misstated that this incident took place at a Little League game. In fact, it took place at a youth baseball game, not a Little League game. The photo has also been changed from Howard J. Lamade Stadium, which is one of the parks at the Little League World Series Complex in South Williamsport, Pa.

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