For one Ladner family, weekend summer reunions take place at ball diamonds locally and across the country.
Tyler Pentland now resides in Vernon after coming through Ladner Minor Baseball as an elite player and launching his umpiring career when he was just 11.
The Delta Secondary graduate was back home earlier this month for his brother CJ’s wedding and also behind the plate for the provincial 18U AA championship game at Cromie Park. Working alongside him that day was his dad John — a longtime official who also serves as a district representative with the B.C. Baseball Umpire Association.
It was about eight years ago when John took his nearly three-decade long umpiring career a step further and earned his Baseball Canada level four certification — paving the way to work national and regional championships. Now Tyler has achieved the same status and the pair are headed together to work the 13U Canadian Championships in Windsor, Ont. — Aug. 25-28.
“It’s going to be my first nationals and it’s a great honour to be selected and even better that I get to do it alongside my dad,” smiled Tyler.
The 29-year-old Delta Blue Jays alumni settled in Vernon after his baseball career and studies took him to Okanagan College. He now works as a teacher in the Central Okanagan School District but also has found the time to allow his umpiring career to continue to flourish.
“Ever since I was playing, I got to know the senior umpires up there and it was a quick conversation where they welcomed me and I have the same goals of taking it as far as I could in the umpiring world,” continued Tyler who has been working games this summer in the West Coast League — a circuit for college players with teams in B.C., Alberta, Washington State and Oregon.
As for John, the next family goal might just be to get both his sons on the field working a national championship with him. CJ took the summer off from umpiring to focus on his wedding.
“All three of us worked a junior men’s game at Dugald (Morrison Park) last year. It was kind of neat — me on the plate, Tyler at third base, CJ at first and fiancé and wives in the stands,” John laughed.