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THE FINISH LINE: Baseball needs to be played at the senior level again in the Bahamas

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Brent Stubbs

By BRENT STUBBS

Senior Sports Reporter

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

THE performance of the under-18 men’s national baseball team to the Pan American Baseball Confederation Championships in Panama showed what could and should be done under the newly alligned Bahamas Baseball Association.

The BBA, which saw the reamalgamation of all of the local associations and clubs under one umbrella, took its first national team off to compete in the championships last week. It was the first true representation of the national team that travelled in quite a few years.

While the results were not what they anticipated, head of delegation Marvin ‘Tougie’ Wood said it is encouraging as they look ahead to the future.

He assured the public that the team, which played without any of the professional players, would be able to at least make the playoffs if they get the opportunity to return to the tournament next year.

Sounds good.

I quite agree.

We have the talent, but as he also pointed out, it’s impossible to get the maximum out of the team if the players coming together from Grand Bahama and Abaco only get to practice a couple days before they travel.

Gone are those days of putting the team together at the last minute and hoping that they will gel and perform at their best on the international scene.

The BBA will have to find a way to ensure that the team is assembled months in advance and all efforts must be made for them to practice as a cohesive unit.

Hopefully, the new national baseball stadium will also be completed next year so that the association can utilise the proper playing field because I’m sure it was a cultural shock for those players who would have played in the venue that they did for the first time.

And although the BBA said their concentration would only be on the selection of the national team, they need to provide an avenue for the players to participate in a senior league programme.

These same under-18 players are going to be the future of the sport and in order for them to be able to compete at their best when they travel, they need to play more games. The Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools is not playing baseball and the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association has a season with just a handful of games.

Thank goodness for Freedom Farm and the Junior Baseball League of Nassau, who provide an opportunity for the older players to participate in a senior league programme.

But even those games are not sufficient.

There has to be a lot more games played in order for our teams to reach their ultimate performances whenever they get the opportunity to travel again.

Whether or not we have the professional players available or not, baseball just needs to be played in the Bahamas at the senior level again.

Seymour giving back

For all those persons who have followed Anfernee Seymour’s career to the professional ranks, you would know that it was not an easy one.

But it’s so encouraging to see that despite all that he went through, Seymour has found the time to give back to help those young baseball players who are looking up to him and other pro players.

This weekend, Seymour will be hosting his first baseball camp at Freedom Farm in Yamacraw on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s the place where he got to hone his skills before he left St Augustine’s College to complete his high school at American Heritage in Delray Beach, Florida.

Now with the Miami Marlins’ organisation, Seymour is one of about 20 players who are playing minor league baseball. But he’s putting on the clinic to help develop some more players to follow in their footsteps.

Not many players take the time to come back and give back to the sport.

Seymour is one of those players that does and his efforts must be commended.

He’s also providing an opportunity for girls to develop their skills in softball with American Olympian Natasha Watley joining in to share her expertise in the sport.

Just as the young ball players need some more assistance in baseball, Watley is coming to provide that for the female softball players.

The clinic is scheduled to start at 10am on Saturday and 12:30pm on Sunday. It’s something that local baseball and softball players should take advantage of.

Well done Anfernee Seymour.

Comments

sheeprunner12 3 years, 6 months ago

Meanwhile ............ the stadium sits rusting

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