#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#SAM Rodgers, who stepped up and took over the reigns of the Bahamas Baseball Association in 2016, said he was delighted to step in and steer the sport in the right direction.
#Rodgers will be seeking another four-year term in office when the BBA holds its virtual annual general meeting and election of officers on Monday, September 28 that will be overseen by Shane Albury an Bertie Murray Jr.
#All nominations must be submitted to Albury by WhatsApp 552-0653 or email Shanealbury@gmail.com or Murray Jr at WhatsApp 424-1549 or email Bertram.Murray@heineken.com by Friday, September 18 at 5pm.
#On Monday, September 21, a list of the nominated persons will be sent out to all leagues.
#According to Rodgers, so far there are only three leagues who are eligible to vote in the elections, inclusive of Grand Bahama Baseball League, Freedom Farm and the Junior Baseball League of Nassau.
#“We’re not sure about Central Andros.
#“We are just waiting on some documents from them to see if they fit the criteria in the constitution to be eligible to vote,” Rodgers said.
#“There is a criteria in the constitution that states whether or not you are eligible to vote.”
#Grand Bahama and both Freedom Farm and JBLN out of New Providence have met the criteria with the required amount of players, coaches and officials, in order to be eligible to vote under the constitution.
#“I don’t think it would affect the elections because I’ve spoken to all of the members already and they understand the constitution and they agreed to it from last year,” Rodgers said.
#With the new term running through 2024, Rodgers said he will have his name in the hat for the post of president, but he has not yet completed his slate of officers to run with him.
#In the meantime, he said he doesn’t know if anybody would be challenging him, even though there were a lot of people who were eager to run for office prior to him taking over from the late Jim Wood four years ago.
#“As far as I know, we don’t have any division within the BBA,” said Rodgers for his decision to continue on as president. “All of the leagues have decided to abide by the rules and regulations of the BBA.
#“So as far as I know, there is no division within the BBA in the Baahamas. Everybody understands what we are trying to achieve. A lot of people have their thoughts about what could be done, but in order to make change within the organisation, you have to be involved on the inside to make the changes.”
#Prior to taking over as the president, Rodgers served under Wood, who was criticised by many for heading the top body in the sport in the country, but the BBA at the time didn’t have any members.
#Both Freedom Farm and JBLN as well as leagues in Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Inagua, Bimini and Andros were formed, but not all of them were a part of the BBA.
#Subsequently, the Bahamas Baseball Federation was formed by Greg Burrows and included Craig ‘Salty’ Kemp and Theodore Sweeting, which helped to provide an umbrella for most of the leagues to play together with the implementation of the National Baseball Championships that was played annually in Grand Bahama.
#During that time, the Bahamas also produced a number of players who either left to continue high school and onto college or got to sign contracts through their affiliation with the MaxD and IElite programmes, which involved former players like Geron Sands, Greg Burrows Jr, Albert Cartwright and Antoan Richardson, now the first base coach with the San Francisco Giants in his post career as the sixth Bahamian to play in the Major League.
#Additionally, Burrows and Cartwright played significant roles in Bahamian players almost completing the entire starting roster for Great Britain as they were joined by Ali Knowles, Jasrado Chisholm, Kyle Simmons, Todd Isaacs, Reshard Munroe, Byron Murray and Champ Stuart for the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifier in Brooklyn, New York.
#The players had to play for Great Britain as the Bahamas was not eligible to compete in the tournament on its own.
#While the federation boasted of having the majority of the players, the association still held the international sanctioning rights, forcing a compromise between the two bodies when Rodgers stepped up to take over the reigns from Wood.
#Now, these elections could be one of the critical held in the history of the sport as it seeks to cement the return of all of the sporting leagues and associations together again.
#The new administration, when elected, will have a chance to utilise the new national baseball stadium, which is being built by the Government of the Bahamas with a projected target to be completed at the end of the year.