Letters of Intent
Alexis Brudnicki:Pompey on Pompey
By Bob Elliott
DUNEDIN, Fla. _ Maybe there were other parents in Florida watching two sons on a major-league diamond Sunday afternoon in Florida.
Yet, no one was prouder than Milton’s Valerie and Ken Pompey.
Dalton Pompey, 22, led off for the Toronto Blue Jays, and flew out to brother Tristan Pompey, 17, playing left, hitting fifth for the Canadian Junior National Team.
Pompey’s parents stood down the left field line, before the major leaguers beat the high schoolers 17-3 before the 1,668 fans, including Montreal mayor Denis Corderre, Jays president Paul Beeston and roughly 100 scouts.
The parents wore custom-made t-shirts with a combined Blue Jays/Baseball Canada logo — designed by Brampton’s Doug Heary — on the front and Pompey on the back.
“Tristan thinks Dalton is my favorite,” said Ken, “of course I played catch with him first — he was around first.”
So, to keep peace in the Pompey household the parents brought a change of wardrobe: Ken wore a Team Canada top in the first, while Valerie wore a Blue Jays uniform.
And in the second, Valerie wore a Canada top and Ken a Jays jersey. Sitting in the shade of section 211 they switched every inning. Eagle eye Dalton noticed the wardrobe change from the field.
Valerie said Tristan has had a growth spurt in the last six months. He’s up to 6-foot-4, while Dalton is listed at 6-foot-2.
Parents and sons went for dinner in Clearwater Saturday. Dalton turned to his mother as Tristan gazed at the Chipotle Mexican Grill menu and said “mom, he’s getting too tall.”
Valerie said the height comes her mother’s side … mom had a 6-foot-9 brother in Owen Sound.
Robbie Alomar,coaching with Canadian juniors, came over to say hello to the Pompey parents. When Alomar left, Ken told him “you tell your father that he’s my role model.”
Later Ken said he’d see Robbie walk into a club during his playing days with the Jays in 1990s.
“Sandy would come with him too,” Ken said. “They’d leave early together … when everyone else stayed late.
“When ever I think ‘what would I should do with my sons?’ I ask myself what would Sandy Alomar do in this same situation.”
Dalton played the role of Sportsnet’s Barry Davis pre-game, as he interviewed his younger brother.
Dalton, reading the best of his prepared questions from his phone: “Do you feel any pressure or need to be better than Dalton Pompey?
Tristan: “I’m already better than him.”
Dalton was limping after the game fouling a pitch on his foot. After flying out to his brother in the first, he struck out facing Calgary’s Mike Soroka in the second, flew out in the fourth and doubled in the fifth, facing Montreal’s Vincent Beauregard.
The lefty received a thumbs up from Junior grad Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) when the catcher left the game. Beauregard attends the same school Martin attended before heading to Chipola College.
“They’re very competitive, I encourage it,” said Ken, five minutes after Valerie had said “I’m looking forward to seeing them on the same field for the first time. They’re very competitive.”
Growing up in Mississauga, Dalton played for the Brampton Braves, Mississauga North Tigers and Majors and the Oakville Royals when Jamie Lehman drafted him in the 16th round in 2010.
Tristan played for Mississauga North, Oakville A’s, the Majors, Westerkirk Royals, Oakville Royals and now the Toronto Mets, who were on hand to see their teammate.
“If God took me tomorrow,” Ken said before he got the chance to see his sons on the same major-league field, “I’d be a happy man,”