After more than 30 years of ensuring little league baseball games are played fairly, Maple Ridge’s Marc Reyes will get a chance to crouch behind the plate at the biggest little league tournament in the world.
The local umpire has been selected to help officiate at the Senior Little League World Series Tournament in Easley, South Carolina this summer (Aug. 1-8).
“It’s definitely a huge deal for me,” Reyes said.
“I’m very honoured to represent Canada at this World Series and very much looking forward to it.”
To be selected for the honour is no easy feat. Reyes was evaluated on his skills while officiating at a junior regional championship event in Lethbridge in 2018. He was given an effective rating which allotted him a three year window in which he was eligible to be called up.
Reyes will be one of six Canadian umpires at seven tournaments and the sole Canadian on his crew.
The tournament his team will be calling is made up of 15 and 16-year-olds from all across the world.
“We’re going to be looking at high calibre ball,” he said.
“There will be a lot of teams from the US that have been playing high school ball and we have some teams coming from various regions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
As enjoyable as calling the games will be, Reyes expects some challenges off the bat.
“We’re working with other guys that we haven’t been working with before, so we’re coming in there blind,” he said.
“We’ll have to quickly get used to working with each other.”
Love of the sport and his role in it should serve him well if the going gets rough.
Reyes involvement in the sport began as a coach in California in 1989. In the league he was part of, it was a coach’s responsibility to umpire the games their teams were not playing in.
“I liked it, so I moved from coaching to umpiring [full time] and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s been a great journey for me.”
A move to B.C. in 1999, saw Reyes continue calling baseball. The people involved keep him coming back to the diamond.
“I love interacting with the players and coaches,” he said.
“And just doing the best job I can do for them to make sure the game is played fairly and according to the rules.