A veteran coach from Port Alberni has hit a home run with a book about baseball on Vancouver Island.
The book 20 Years of Royals by retired Alberni teacher Jim Seredick chronicles the 20-year history of the Parksville Royals junior boys baseball team. Seredick has been the pitching coach for the Royals for 15 years.
The self-published 300-page book has 65 pages of photos, including 20 team pictures of every team in the Royals history.
Seredick, coach Dave Wallace and general manager Clyde Inouye also offer personal perspectives about the team.
The initiative has been a labour of love, Seredick said. “I initially thought it would take three weeks at most to write the book…four and a half months later I gave the final transcript to the printer,” he said.
The book has sold out two printings and now is into the third run of books, Seredick said.
The Royals are a high school team based out Parksville and are made up of players ages 15-18 who are primarily from the mid Island.
The team plays an 80-game schedule beginning in March and ending in April.
The team competes in the Premier Baseball League which has 13 teams (four on the Island) with the rest in Kelowna and the Lower Mainland.
Dean Leyland was the only player from Port Alberni on the team this year.
But a slew of Port Alberni athletes have their names notched in the team’s history, Seredick said: Rick Michelenko, Curtis Reynolds, Nick Seredick and Eddie Kunderman played in the mid-1990s.
Other Alberni players over the years include Warren and Dustin Holland, Ryan Chenard, Gurpreet Rai, Curtis Dolynny, Brad Thomas, Mike Seredick, Ryan Tebbutt, Gerritt Van Kooten and Sam Visona.
Part of the book is devoted to players who have gone on to play baseball past the junior level.
“Over the years we have placed close to 100 players in college or university baseball programs,” Seredick said.
Several players have played on Canada’s junior national team including Alberni’s Ryan Chenard. As well, a number of Royals have been on Canada’s National Baseball team and played in the International Baseball World Cup series.
Some of those players have gone on to professional careers, like Courtenay’s Taylor Green who plays in the Milwaukee Brewers system.
The book costs $20.There are plans to digitize it and make it available on Amazon. “Once it is digital it can be constantly updated and in a sense will be an ongoing story for as long as the team is in existence,” Seredick said.
The book is Seredick’s second. His first, Totem 50 was penned in 2005 and was a record of the Totem basketball tournament’s then 50-year history.