By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
MARTIN ‘Pork’ Burrows Sr added another accolade to his résumé as he has now become the first Bahamian to be able to officiate at collegiate baseball games.
Over the weekend in Palm Beach County, Florida, Burrows Sr completed a successful course in the 2020 CBUAO Florida Camp, which was a CBUAO Umpires Mechanics Training. He noted that after spending the week in daily training sessions, he passed the course in “flying colours.”
“It went very well, some very long hours every morning from 7:30am until about 9:30 at night,” said Burrows Sr on his return home. “We did our training sessions on and off the field and then we participated in live games to evaluate our ability to officiate games.”
Burrows Sr, who turns 55 this year, was one of 24 candidates from around the world, including the US, Puerto Rico and Europe, who participated in the course by CBUAO, known as the College Baseball Umpires Assigners Organisation.
Surpassing the achievements of his mentor, the late Arthur ‘Old Art’ Thompson Sr, Burrows Sr said now that he’s a certified collegiate baseball umpire, he will work on getting a few other Bahamians to follow in his footsteps. “I hope I can get somebody else to be able to sit the course so that they can officiate at college as well,” said Burrows Sr, who in the meantime is just waiting on CBUAO to call him to report to a venue to begin officiating at a college game, be it NCAA division one, II or III.
For Burrows Sr, the highlight of the week was to hear the praise and adoration that he received from Nick Zibelli, the president of CBUAO. “He was very impressed with what I did,” he said.
During the course, Burrows Sr said they were affected by the spreading of the global pandemic as one of the colleges pulled their team off the field and stopped playing. But he said they were still able to get some work in as they officiated a game between the Boston Red Sox minor league team and a visiting team from Canada. “So we had some pick up games as we continued our training,” Burrows Sr said.
Burrows Sr can now boast of officiating at the Cal Ripken Tournament, a division of the Babe Ruth Little League, last year and he’s certified for college baseball. The only thing left is for him to get certified to officiate at the semi and professional baseball level.
“I hope to go back to the Cal Ripken Tournament in August,” he said. “But for me to officiate at the semi or pro level, I will have to go into a training programme for about three to six months. So as soon as a course is available, I hope to go to it.”