He was known as “The Pest” – irritating, irascible, feisty, a burr under the saddle of the opponents’ thoroughbred players; but there wasn’t a coach alive who would not have given his eye tooth to have Ron Pinder on his side.
Not unlike hockey’s Ken Linseman, the five-foot-eight, 160-pound Pinder “bug-checked” enemy players into making silly mistakes, then stole the ball from them and deposited into the opponents’ net.
And the fact that Pinder was so good only enhanced the anger.
Lacrosse came naturally to Ron although he did not play on an organized club until he was 13. His dad, Roy, was a star with the Richmond Farmers of the 1940’s and was a member of the 1949 Vancouver Burrards Mann Cup winners. Offspring Ron and his older brother Gerry just followed Pop’s footsteps. After moving up through the Richmond minor system, Ron joined with brother on the 1971 Richmond Roadrunners, the Cinderella team that beat heavily-favoured Peterborough for the coveted Minto Cup.
In 1975, Ron graduated from the Under-21 Junior Division and was drafted by Montreal Quebecois of the new National Lacrosse League. However, Ron was always a notoriously slow starter and decided to return to the Lower Mainland and a Burrards uniform.
His career immediately shifted into high gear, scoring 64 goals and 58 assists for 118 points, good enough to capture the WLA’s Rookie of the Year honours and a spot on the First All-Star Team. To cap off the season, Ron led Vancouver to the Mann Cup and was named the Mike Kelly MVP winner. Montreal quickly summoned Ron for the NLL playoffs – he picked up 8 goals and 7 assists in 8 games. And then it was back to Vancouver for the rest of his 9-season career.
Pinder’s scoring statistics are proof of his tenacity when coming up against bigger opponents – 396 goals and 433 assists for 829 points in 275 WLA games.