Baseball in The Bahamas is set to continue its current surge with a couple of major international events planned for the coming months.
Additionally, through the support of the Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA) and the government of The Bahamas, the Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean (COCABE) is setting up a base here in the country, looking to plan and facilitate COCABE activities and also to organize future baseball tournaments. Following a site visit about a month ago, the COCABE executive team decided that The Bahamas would be the best option to establish its base.
“We thank the BBA for their willingness to share the office at the Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium with COCABE,” said COCABE Secretary General Manuel Frias through a letter to the BBA.
BBA President Sam Rodgers, who also serves as a vice president on the COCABE executive board, said with the regional body setting up a base in The Bahamas, that could only do wonders for the future of Bahamian baseball.
As for the tournaments, the 4th Caribbean Baseball Cup is set for December 4-11, representing the first time in Bahamian history that the hosting of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games main qualifier will be held here in The Bahamas, and an 18-and-under (18U) qualifier for a major international tournament is planned for October 2023.
Both of those tournaments, along with the establishment of the COCABE base, are contingent on the completion of the new Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium which is now more than six years into construction and more than four years past the initial date of completion.
Due to delays and overruns, storage, and the rising costs of material and labor, the cost of construction more than doubled, growing to more than $60 million, according to the latest budget allocations as pronounced in the House of Assembly.
BBA officials are confident that the stadium will be completed in time for the 4th Caribbean Baseball Cup this December.
The countries confirmed to take part in the Caribbean Baseball Cup are host country The Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Curacao and the defending champions Cuba.
Team Bahamas Head Coach and third Base Coach is Geron Sands, a former national team player who played on The Bahamas’ team that defeated Cuba, 2-1, at the World University Games in 2006. Sands is also the Co-founder and President of the I-Elite Sports Academy.
The Bench Coach for Team Bahamas is former minor leaguer Albert Cartwright, also Co-founder of the I-Elite Sports Academy.
The First Base Coach for Team Bahamas is former minor leaguer Dominique Collie Jr., also a former collegiate standout in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II with the Webber International University Warriors.
The Outfield Coach for Team Bahamas is Theodore ‘Trae’ Sweeting Jr., a former collegiate standout in the NCAA Division I with the Georgia State University Panthers.
The Bullpen Coach for Team Bahamas is Donavan Cox, a former national team player for The Bahamas, and the Team General Manager is Avard Hart, another former national team player for The Bahamas.