Aedan Celestino wants to follow in his father's footsteps, once he's old enough.
There are many, many great pros to entice someone to become an umpire. Umpires get the best seats in the house. They get to watch some of the greatest players to step foot on the diamond, and their opinions are the ones that actual hold weight. Then, again, there are huge cons that requires Rhinoceros-tough skin to reap the benefits.
Palm Coast Little League assistant coach Pete Celestino knows this too well. For a great deal of his life, including 13 years at the highest level, he sat behind a batter and catcher, calling every pitch and taking in the offensive language with every call the fans disagreed with. Celestino, now, has a 13-year-old son, Aedan, one of the All-stars, and he wants to follow in his dad's footsteps. Aedan has made the all-star team in whatever league he's played in, but he wants to be like his dad, whome he considers the best person in the world.
"That's what he wants to do; I wouldn't make him do that," Pete Celestino said. "That's a tough profession. You gotta be able to take a lot of stuff."
While asking to become a verbal punching bag, Aedan's decision is as much expected as a child of a Major Legue player. Growing up in the house of an umpire, he had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know his dad's closest friends, other umpires.
Although he hasn't been one in years, Pete still gets tickets from his umpire buddies, which allows Aedan and him to enjoy games together and watch their friends completely ignore the angry tirades of fans.
One of Aedan's favorite memories is their week-long camping and baseball trip, where they traveled to Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, attending six games in seven days.
"He's been to more ball parks at the age of 13 than I ever was," Pete Celestino laughs. "I didn't go to my first game until I was 13. But, he appreciates it. We have a lot of sports memorabillia from when I grew up and when I worked in the league, and we love to show it to baseball fans and share memorable stories."
Pete and Aedan Celestino have enjoyed the game together since he was a toddler, rolling a baseball around in their living room floor. Now, a shy teenager, who will eventually have to make game-deciding calls that will anger many, he believes he is ready to be what dad has been and continue the Celestino name in the umpire world.
"Seeing him umpiring for the first time...I get nervous when he's playing," Pete Celestino said. I'll be a little extra nervous when he umpires because it's it's going to be hard to sit there and listen to the comments; they're going to come. But, he knows the game well enough, and he'll do good at it. If he'll get through those early times, when he's putting up with everything, that'll make him a better umpire."
"I'll be a little extra nervous when he umpires because it's it's going to be hard to sit there and listen to the comments; they're going to come. But, he knows the game well enough, and he'll do good at it."-Pete Celestino