Derby set for December


A number of local and foreign pro players expected to take part

Sheldon LongleySend an emailNovember 1, 2022 302 6 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 The Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby is back to its home base, set for December 17 at Montagu Beach. Shown from left are organizer Todd Isaacs Sr., organizer Gina Gonzalez-Rolle, lead organizers and Bahamian professional baseball players Todd Isaacs Jr. and Lucius Fox Jr., Consultant in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Harrison Thompson, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Atlantis Ted Adderley, Public Relations and Communication Coordinator at Cable Bahamas Shazell Rolle and Chairman of the local organizing committee of the event Lynden Maycock. MARCELLUS HALL

After a one-year tryout at Atlantis Beach, adjacent to the Atlantis Resort, the Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby is back to its home base, set for December 17 at Montagu Beach.

The event, which is growing exponentially in popularity and exposure, to the tune of over eight million viewers online, will once again feature local professionals, minor and major league hitters, going up against each other for the title of Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby Champion. Organizers Lucius Fox and Todd Isaacs Jr., both Bahamian professional baseball players, are excited about this year’s event.

In the team competition, Team Fox will be aiming to tie Team Isaacs at two victories apiece. Team Isaacs won last year.

In the individual competition, Toronto Blue Jays’ shortstop Bo Bichette prevailed the first two years it was held at Montagu Beach. Lewis Brinson, formerly of the Miami Marlins and most recently the San Francisco Giants, won the third version of the event, and Mervyl ‘MJ’ Melendez of the Kansas City Royals came out on top last year.

This year, a vast majority of the 25-plus Bahamian professionals, including Fox and Isaacs, are expected to take part. Fox, Isaacs and Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. of the Miami Marlins were all a part of the first class of young Bahamians, under the current wave of youth baseball talent, to sign professional contracts in 2015. Since then, over 20 young Bahamians have signed pro baseball contracts with Major League Baseball (MLB) organizations.

“A lot of foreigners coming here and taking the crown back with them and that’s not right,” said Fox during the official launch of the event yesterday. “Hopefully, a Bahamian could take it this year. If I don’t get it, hopefully a Bahamian could keep the trophy here in The Bahamas.”

The event, now in its fifth year, will once again encompass a lead-up to the main event, inclusive of a celebrity softball game on Wednesday December 14 and a kids clinic the following morning. The softball game is set for 7 p.m. on the Atlantis grounds that Wednesday. On Thursday, the kids clinic will run from 9 a.m. to noon. The main event, the 5th Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby, will commence at noon on Saturday December 17 at Montagu Beach.

 Set to take part this year are a number of Bahamian professional players as well as foreign professionals in the minor and major league system in the United States. Melendez will be back to defend his title and he will be joined by Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves, Paul ‘CJ’ Abrams of the Washington Nationals and Dominic Smith of the New York Mets, among others.

Bahamian Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. of the Miami Marlins will highlight the local talent, and Fox and Isaacs will also compete.

“This event was actually inspired from the CARIFTA Games,” said Fox. “Todd and I saw the excitement from the CARIFTA Games and we sat down and discussed how we could bring this same excitement to local baseball. We’ve played all in the United States where there are American fans supporting us, but there is nothing like getting it from your own. This is still in the infancy stages, but we feel like we are on our way to making this event one of the best baseball events in the world, and I’m just so proud that it’s here in The Bahamas on Bahamian soil. We intend to take this event to new heights. I’m excited to see the beach packed with Bahamians and overall just baseball enthusiasts. It’s going to be another fun event. We just can’t want to give the Bahamian people a treat. With COVID and everything else that’s going on, a treat is definitely what is needed right now. We just want it to keep getting bigger and better and to put on a show for the Bahamian people. That’s our goal.”

Both Fox and Isaacs are in their eight years of professional baseball. Fox received a call-up to the majors last season and is anticipating greater success in 2023.

“Sports teaches you how to persevere through any incident you would face in life. Baseball taught us that it’s not how you start that determines your outcome, but how you power through to the end,” said Isaacs. 

“Speaking to the young men in the country, we just try to show them how sports keeps you focussed on a goal of becoming a better person. It shows you how to be humble and how to put others before yourself. That is what makes this event such a success. Lucius and I saw an avenue where we could put our young professionals in the spotlight and have them perform in front of their own people, and also to find a way where we could bring awareness to the sport of baseball here in The Bahamas.”

A number of baseball hall of famers and future legends are rumored to be a part of the contingent coming to The Bahamas for the popular baseball event. Also, representatives from the Players Alliance organization, former major leaguers CC Sabathia and Curtis Granderson, will be in The Bahamas for the staging of the derby.

“The Players Alliance is a community driven event and it is centered around getting the kids off the streets and into something positive. The future is bright here in The Bahamas through sports. I’m just grateful to be one of the athletes who can come home and make a difference,” said Fox.

Chairman of the local organizing committee of the event Lynden Maycock said a gospel event on the Sunday following the derby will climax the weekend of activities.

“With everything that is happening in our country today, we need as much prayers as possible. The organizers were very receptive to the idea and so on the Sunday following the home run derby, when all of the guys would have completed their partying from the night before, we have this event happening under the theme ‘Victory belongs to Jesus’,” said Maycock. “We saw it all coming together with a former minor league player from the New York Mets organization, turned gospel artist, in Todd Dulaney, playing a major part in this event. We know what’s happening here today is no accident, so we are looking forward to this event on Sunday December 18 – a moment of worship and prayer for the nation.”

Consultant in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Harrison Thompson said Fox and Isaacs have their full support in the staging of the derby.

“This event is a 

testament of the work and commitment of Todd and Lucius. They are bringing this fantastic event to The Bahamas and that is what sports tourism is all about,” he said. “Everyone wants to come to The Bahamas and we welcome them to our shores. Visitors want to experience our culture, our people and our beautiful scenery. There’s no other place in the world like The Bahamas. We want to commend these young men for this venture and we look forward to it expanding even more in the future to the point where it is the most popular baseball event in the world. You have our full support and we will assist in any way that we can. Keep pressing forward.”

Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Atlantis Ted Adderley said they are happy to be part of the event, once again showing support for young Bahamian talent.

“I cannot say more about the contribution that Todd and Lucius are making,” said Adderley. “When you speak to them, you feel what they are trying to accomplish and you have to embrace it. This event is about to take off. It’s still in its infancy stages in terms of growth and you could feel it expanding and really taking off. We are so proud of what these young men are doing and we wholeheartedly support this event. These young men are on to something amazing and we’re so happy to be a part of it.”

Public Relations and Communication Coordinator at Cable Bahamas Shazell Rolle the event will be broadcasted live in REV TV.

“We have been a part of this event from its inception and we are so pleased to be a part of it for another year,” she said. “There are a lot of international people talking about it and that alone shows how much this event has grown. It’s now into year five and we look forward to continuing to be a part of this event. At REV, we are the home of sports and we want to make sure that everyone captures the excitement of the home run derby so it will be live on Channel 212 and also available on the REVGO Play app. By showing support for Bahamian talent, and sponsoring events like this, at REV, it definitely shows that it’s you and us together.”

As mentioned, the home run derby is into its fifth year. A foreigner has won the top individual award at each of the first four. Organizers are hopeful that a Bahamian can be crowned Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby Champion for 2022.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *