Kentwood man’s full-time MLB ump gig on hold

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — During the baseball offseason, Kentwood’s Nic Lentz got the call he’s been dreaming of since he first umpired a Little League game: He was offered a full-time job officiating for the MLB.

Like pretty much everything else involving sports, the coronavirus pandemic has stalled that.

Lentz has been umping MLB games since 2016, though only part-time.

“The road to the big leagues is a long and tiring one. We start in the low levels of the Minor Leagues,” he said. “Stuff is pretty rough back then, especially when … we’re just trying to get experience, handle situations that we mess up, especially in the minors. But we learn from them through personal reflection, our partners that we work with and then also our supervisors.”

==Above, Lentz talks about the road to the big leagues and what it’s like to be on the national stage.==

Lentz has been active in Umps Care Charities, which, among other things, gives ill or at-risk kids access to the MLB.

“It really puts everything into perspective for what we are doing and what we have as a job,” he said.