The Comox Valley, Vancouver Island North, and the entire Baseball Community in BC lost an ardent supporter on April 20 with the passing of Eric Toneff.
Eric was a longstanding baseball advocate and umpire supporter in his native Comox. He served as an umpire, a BCBUA Area Director, a BC Minor Baseball Director, and a friend of everyone for as long as anyone can remember.
Prior to his involvement in Baseball, Eric was a professional wrestler, mainly for BCTV’s All-Star wrestling for those of you old enough to remember those days. He loved talking about the old wrestlers and the many, many characters that popularized wrestling in the 80’s – of which Eric blatantly admitted he was not one of. He truly loved that period of time in his life.
Soon he would end up as a Funeral Director in Comox, and eventually owning his own business.
He was a tremendous supporter of umpires especially at the Grass Roots level, spending hours at the field mentoring and working with new umpires, and still finding time to work on his own game as a very competent level 3 umpire in BC who was more than capable at the Sr Level.
After suffering a serious ear injury on a line drive in Parksville, Eric left the field and umpiring and focused his efforts as a BC Minor Baseball Director for which he served several terms.
Eric was also a friend of baseball off the field. When our Provincial Supervisor Howard Chapman passed away in 2015, Eric donated his services and time as a Funeral Director as a way to honor our leader. This was a tremendous gesture, which spoke volumes of Eric’s dedication to umpiring and the Game of Baseball, but mostly his compassion as a human being.
We will all miss Eric’s contributions, but more than all of that, we will miss his personality and his character as an individual.