‘It’s everything’: Moscow’s Tayler Parsons relishes latest break behind the plate

<text>Tayler Parsons of Moscow is umpiring in the Appalachian League this summer.</text><text></text>August Frank Daily News

As you read this, Tayler Parsons might be in Burlington, N.C., Johnson City, Tenn., or Pulaski, Va.

Or, most likely, he’s somewhere on the road in between.

Things move quickly in the Appalachian League, for which Parsons will umpire 58 baseball games in 66 days through the first week of August.

Parsons was the subject of a Daily News Slice of Life feature story in February (full story at atbit.ly/3H8uvy6).

Reached Tuesday in a hotel room in Kingsport, Tenn., Parsons provided an update on his first big break in his quest to become a Major League Baseball umpire.

In January, the 20-year-old Moscow High graduate received high marks at the Hunter Wendelstedt Professional Umpire School in Florida and by late April, had received the call to umpire for the summer in the Appalachian League.

The 10-team league is composed of college players sharpening their skills in the offseason, but for the umpires, the two-month slate provides what could be a first step on the path to the sport’s top levels.

Parsons is part of a two-person umpiring crew with Nobu Goto, 25, from New York. The two swap duties each game umpiring behind the plate and in the field. Parsons says he enjoys umpiring in the field more than behind the plate, because it allows him to run around a bit more rather than being stuck in one spot.

Parsons and Nobu will have umpired about 10 games together by this weekend. The regular season opened June 2 in Pulaski, and will continue through Aug. 6. Teams play two-game sets, so the umpires travel between two and three different cities each week.

The jump from umpiring locally for mostly high school players to umpiring for professional prospects has been significant, Parson said.

“The first two games were a little rocky for me,” he said. “I’ve never really seen baseball like this. It took a couple innings to relax and find my groove. You have to relax, call the game and let it come to you.”

Parsons said the travel has been bearable to this point, and while he misses his family at times, the opportunity to follow his dream has been fulfilling.

“It’s everything,” Parson said. “It is everything.”

Staszkow can be reachedat cstaszkow@dnews.com.

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