#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#ONE of the mainstays on the sports tourism calendar, the Don’t Blink Home Run Derby In Paradise is set to begin its week of festivities for its fifth edition.
#Don’t Blink week begins December 14 with The Cancer Treatment Centers of America Celebrity softball game, Atlantis Paradise Harbour.
#Gametime is at 7pm and will feature event attendees along with Bahamian influencers and local public figures.
#The Harbour will also be the location of the Don’t Blink Kids’ camp the following morning, December 15 at Atlantis Paradise Harbor.
#The camp is free of charge, open to both boys and girls ages 7-18. The night concludes with the event’s official welcome party “Man Overboard Part 3” aboard Black Beard’s Revenge.
#The main event takes place on December 17 at 12pm (noon) with the Home-Run Derby’s return to the Montagu foreshore.
#The first three editions were hosted at Montagu, before last year’s event shifted to the grounds of the Atlantis resort. This year’s event will relocate to its original location. A live rake and scrape concert will take place immediately following the derby. General admission is free of charge while VIP is $30.
#A new initiative to the week of festivities will be the Prayer to Praise event, featuring a concert by former minor league prospect turned gospel singer, Todd Dulaney, 6:30pm on December 18 at Baha Mar.
#The event is the brainchild of pro baseball players Lucius Fox and Todd Isaacs Jr.
#“Five years of hosting anything in life is a blessing so we’re truly grateful, truly humbled and truly honoured, humbled and blessed that God gave us this opportunity to bring this vision to fruition, not just for us baseball players but for The Bahamas in its entirety,” Isaacs said. “Through sports, we have an opportunity to highlight The Bahamas for what it is, the beautiful beaches, the warm weather and the welcoming people.”
#Fox added that the Don’t Blink brand continues to expand its reach by partnering with several organisations including the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Players Alliance.
#“We joined forces with MLBPA, executive Tony Clark, and the members of his team. The MLBPA acts as the voice for all players in the game of baseball. We also have the Players Alliance,” he said.
#“This group is so special because they work hand in hand in minority communities to provide assistance, equipment and leadership to the youth. They make baseball accessible to all races and they give everyone a fair playing chance to learn the game, get introduced, and hopefully make the most out of it. They have been instrumental in the United States so we look forward to what they can do here in The Bahamas.”
#Bo Bichette, of the Toronto Blue Jays, won the inaugural event in 2018 and repeated as champion in 2019. Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson captured the title in 2020 and Kansas City Royals catcher MJ Melendez was the most recent winner in 2021.