VIEW of the new Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#WITH just about a week left before the start of the fourth Caribbean Baseball Cup, the Bahamas Baseball Association is putting the final touches on Team Bahamas.
#The BBA national team, headed by Geron Sands and Albert Cartwright, wrapped up a week-long training camp in Grand Bahama. The team is expected to come together in New Providence starting on Monday with practices inside the newly constructed Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium.
#The stadium, with its artificial turf and scoreboard in place, is having the lighting fixtures installed and all of the cosmetic work in and outside completed in time for the tournament that is scheduled to run from December 4-11. The road leading into the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex is also expected to be paved.
#Team Bahamas will be playing against teams from the US Virgin Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Curacao as host COBABE will attempt to have the two teams qualified to represent the region at the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador in 2023.
#Sands said after wrapping up practice on Wednesday night at the Emera Baseball Park in Grand Bahama, he noted that they are looking forward to getting together in New Providence for the final stretch before the start of the tournament.
#“We went to Grand Bahama to bring the bond back,” Sands said. “Even though these guys played together as youngsters, we were able to give them some quality time together.”
#On the first night in Grand Bahama, Sands said the team was hosted by Pastor Laquez Williams, a motivational speaker, who addressed the topic of ‘Being the best you.’ Sands thanked him for getting the ball rolling in Grand Bahama. “He was able to get to the guys and allowed them to open up about their life experiences as professional baseball players,” Sands said. “We got that family feeling back again. On the field, the guys got to bond together. We didn’t have to do any teaching, just go over some strategies with them.”
#Sands said the whole idea for the camp was to get the players ready for the task ahead of them because he wants to make sure that they are in the right frame of mind as a team to represent the country.
#“I took this on with a purpose,” he said. “I want to bring back what we once had and make it better. I got tired of us not doing things the way it should be done. As one who is highly involved in baseball internationally, we want to develop a national culture for baseball.
#“Hopefully, I can get the opportunity after this tournament to really get this national programme up and running. I want to see us competing as a team in the World Baseball Classic by 2025 and eventually by 2029 to win the title and even go on to represent the country at the Olympic Games.”
#In addition to Sands and Cartwright, the other members of the coaching staff participated in the camp. They included Dominic Collie, Donovan Cox and Trae Sweeting. The team coordinator is Avard Hart.
#The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
#Sunday, December 4
#11am – Curacao vs Puerto Rico
#5pm – Official opening ceremonies
#7:30pm – US Virgin Island vs Bahamas
#Monday, December 5
#2pm – Cuba vs US Virgin Islands
#Tuesday, December 6
#2pm – Curacao vs US Virgin Island
#7pm – Puerto Rico vs Cuba
#Wednesday, December 7
#2pm – US Virgin Islands vs Puerto Rico
#7pm – Bahamas vs Cuba
#Thursday, December 8
#2pm – Cuba vs Curacao
#7pm – Puerto Rico vs Bahamas
#Friday, December 9
#Saturday, December 10
#2pm – 3rd seed vs 2nd seed
#7pm – 4th seed vs 1st seed
#Sunday, December 11
#2pm – Third place game
#5pm – Championship game
#8:30pm – Closing ceremony
#• Tickets are priced at $15 for children, $25 for adults and $45 for VIP.