Riding round in style
The accolades just keeps pouring in for the country’s first Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series Champions, the 12-and-under Freedom Farm baseball team. The latest, a Lowe’s Wholesale Drug Agency van, displaying the team’s photo.
On hand yesterday to see the unveiling of the picture on the van were the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard, Greg Burrows Sr. William Cash Sr and Jr as well as some of the team members, coaches, managers and fan support. The team won the championships in August with a 7-1 victory over Visalia California.
“It is a massive accomplishment,”said Burrows Sr.”It speaks volumes for the program and the structure, all the planning and the goals as well as everything we set out to accomplish. Winning a World Series was always a goal for Freedom Farm and it was a personal goal of mine. I am happy to just be alive to see it happen. We were so close so many times and I was wondering if I would ever see it happen. Being the founder of Freedom Farm, I was wondering when one of the teams in the league would ever win a title and would I live to see them do it. It is a good feeling for me and I am just happy to be a part of it.
“Baseball is a rollercoaster, you have hills and you have valleys. One year you are on the high point and the other year you are on a low point. Our job now is to see how we are going to fill those valleys and continue to be the defending champs and defend our titles every time we go up there. We know we have to look for a little more athletes and develop them. We need them to have specific skills. What we did in the past was, we just picked from the guys we have. We have to now concentrate and develop guys for a specific purpose. For example, we now need to have a special unit to just develop pitching. A tournament like the World Series, if you are going to carry 12 players, eight of those players need to be top notch pitchers. We need them to pitch and plus go out there and play the fields. So you have to be a well-rounded baseball player to compete in a tournament like that.”
According to Maynard the celebrations for the team is far from over. He stated that two of the three things that the team requested has yet to be fulfilled. The only that has, is the courtesy call on Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. The other two includes a picture on the Wall of Fame, located in the Lynden Pindling International Airport and the road leading to the field on which the games are played on.
The time line for the remaining two items were revealed by Maynard yesterday, however, he did say that working is going on and the necessary steps to make it a reality is being taken.
Maynard said: ”The celebrations shouldn’t end with a one day affair, it should be something that we should celebrate on an ongoing basis. This type of event, of their accomplishments, is going to inspire generations of young people behind them, so we have to continue to hold them up high so people can see it and emulate it. So I am happy that Lowe’s Wholesale honored them in this way and it continues the celebrations. There are some other things that will come up pretty soon to encourage them as they start their new season. But the idea, is for it to stay in the conscience of the Bahamian people so that they can continue to look at it and see what they can do and accomplish, if they are focused.
“It doesn’t take any thing from us, it helps to make everything stronger. The only time you can enjoy this kind of success is when you have a partnership between government, NGO’s and the business sector. So what we see here today is the business sector stepping up and coming into play and doing their part.”
Play in the league is expected to begin today. All games are scheduled to be held at the Freedom Farm Park, located in Yamacraw.