By Brent Stubbs
Senior Sports Reporter
MARTIN ‘Pork’ Burrows Sr will add the Babe Ruth League to his list of achievements as a Bahamian baseball/softball international umpire.
Burrows Sr, the director of umpires for the recently defuncted Bahamas Baseball Federation, has been invited to officiate at the 2019 Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series in Branson, Missouri.
The trip, arranged through Babe Ruth League Incorporated, is scheduled for Wednesday, July 31 to Sunday, August 11.
“It’s a childhood dream to be a part of the World Games,” Burrows Sr said.
“I had to send in my résumé first to be accepted and then they replied and told me that I was accepted.
“Not everybody can get that opportunity to officiate at the World Games, so I am just happy to be able to do it as a Bahamian. I always wanted to do it, whether as a coach, manager or official. I am glad that I can do it as an umpire. It’s a big thing for me.” Burrows Sr thanked Greg Burrows Sr, the founder of Freedom Farm, for affording him the opportunity to apply for the officiating job. Burrows Sr and his Freedom Farm organisation won the regional tournament for under-12 boys in 2014.
Freedom Farm will be returning to this year’s tournament where they will be among 24 teams participating from Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Australia, Korea, Canada, Dominican Republic, and the United States.
During an extensive international umpiring career that started in 2014 following his time on the field as a player turned coach, Burrows Sr said he has officiated in games that involved at least three of the top five pitchers in the world.
After making his international debut as a player in 1989 in Wichita, Kansas, Burrows Sr started coaching men’s fast pitch softball in the New Providence Softball Association with the New Breed in 1998.
Although he started officiating games in 1995 at the Bahamas Softball Federation’s Austin Knowles National High School Tournament, it wasn’t until 2005 that he switched to baseball, umpiring at the Junior Baseball League of Nassau.
From 2014 to 2017, Burrows Sr cemented his feet on the international scene when he umpired the ISGU Men’s International Fastpitch Softball Tournament in Orlando, Florida, under the supervision of Lou Davis UIC.
In 2016, he was named the Umpire Chief for the BBF and a year later, he went to his first international baseball high level umpiring course in Santo Domingo. He returned home and was named the chief umpire for the Bahamas Baseball Association’s Nationals last year in Grand Bahama.
Since last year, Burrows Sr has hosted clinics for baseball and softball throughout the Bahamas.
He is the father of two sons who actively played both softball and baseball, including Martin Jr, a national year member and a player with the Hitmen, and Chad, who graduated from college in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was on a scholarship.
His daughter Diva is also one of the top female pitchers in the NPSA with the Johnson’s Lady Truckers.