Mark Trombley has been behind the plate of local Little League baseball games, calling balls and strikes for over 12 years.
This weekend, the South Burlington resident will take his balls-and-strike skills to Bristol, Conn., as an umpire in the Little League Baseball Eastern Regional.
“There’s a lot of love of baseball in my family,” Trombley said. “I hope to make the state and South Burlington proud.”
Trombley applied to umpire at the prestigious tournament and was one of 12 chosen from over 250 applicants.
“The kids challenge themselves to get better, I thought I would challenge myself,” Trombley said. “It’s an honor to represent Vermont and South Burlington.”
Trombley began umpiring for little league baseball when he was a coach for his son’s team — part of the duties were to umpire other teams’ games. After his son was done and he stepped back from coaching, Trombley got certified to umpire.
“You can see the joy when they play,” Trombley said. “But when they lose a game, 20 minutes later they are happy because they get ice cream and pizza.”
For the last 10 years, Trombley has attended clinics and umpire camps. The hard work paid off and two years ago local coaches began encouraging him to apply to umpire at the regional tournament.
After getting turned down last year, he decided to apply again and got the nod earlier this year and was chosen as the Vermont representative.
He’ll see action in seven or eight games at the Bristol tournament, Aug. 3-10. Trombley will umpire the games for the Mid-Atlantic Region, with two games a day to start the tournament.
“I don’t see myself leaving the baseball field,” Trombley said. “I want to watch the other umpires, see if I can learn from them. These are the best teams from each state. Everybody should be good.”
And that includes the umpires, who will be under increased scrutiny with NESN broadcasting the games and each team getting a challenge to check on calls.
“The whole challenge thing will be interesting,” Trombley said. “But if I call it like I see it, hopefully it’s the right call.”