By BRENT STUBBS
THE Bahamas Baseball Association had to play a back seat to mother nature over the weekend in Grand Bahama as the fields got too wet from the rain at the Emera Sports Complex to complete all of the divisional finals in their inaugural National Baseball Championships.
While only the 14-and-under and 18-and-under divisions were done before the rain halted play on Sunday, the BBA was forced to make a decision on the outcome of the 8-and-under, 10-and-under, 12-and-under and 16-and-under.
What’s good is that the BBA reverted to the completion of the pool play to determine the gold, silver and bronze medallists, based on their win-loss records.
In that way, the BBA avoided any issues with teams that were leading their respective divisions in the championship games, which were not official when the rain came.Obviously there are some that felt that the games could have been played here in New Providence where local teams were matched against each other.
But tournament director Shane Albury said there were too many factors to take into consideration if they had continued, one of which would have been where and when the under-16 would have been played between Grand Bahama and the Junior Baseball League of Nassau.
The good thing about the nationals, which the BBA took on for the first time after the Bahamas Baseball Federation was dismantled last year, all of the affiliated leagues participated, including the Freedom Farm, which made their return after a year’s absence.
From the looks of things, the BBA seems to be headed in the right direction and if the atmosphere that was created over the weekend was any indication, the future looks bright for the sport.
We can only hope that the leagues will all continue to work for the betterment of the sport and leave all of their egos at their various playing sites because the sport is definitely bigger than any one league.
No doubt, there are two issues that many will be keeping a close eye on as the BBA presses forward. The first is the selection of the national teams and the second is the election of officers.
Now that they are all under one umbrella, let’s see if they can all bring that same cohesiveness to the table as they make the decisions on the issues ahead of them.
But for now, we have to commend BBA president Sam Rodgers and his executives, the BBF and its former presidents Greg Burrows, Craig ‘Salty’ Kemp and Teddy Sweeting, along with their executives and the managers and the coaches of the various leagues.
It was so refreshing to witness baseball at its best between the rising young stars, whom the focus was on, rather than those who make the decisions behind the scenes.
If they can just channel a lot of that energy in the right direction, there’s no reason why a push can’t be made to get senior baseball up and running so that those youngsters who displayed their talents will have somewhere to continue to harness their skills.
We know that a lot of that is contingent on the completion of the new baseball stadium. But in the interim, I’m sure they can look at some other venue to try and get some type of league started.