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Rolle guided Marlins to baseball supremacy

The Bahamas is considered by many worldwide, to be the most successful sports nation per capita.

Those within the country’s sporting fraternity take great pride in that reputation. It gives us bragging rights in conversations with our peers, regional and global. In The Bahamas, the same tag can be applied to Bimini. Per capita, there is no greater sporting island in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas than Bimini.

The list of sporting icons produced by Bimini, reads like a”who’s who”of Bahamian athletic standouts. I refer to people like Yama Bahama, Gomeo Brennen and Gary Davis of boxing; Danny Smith, Sidney Levarity, George Brennen, Julian Brown and Selvin Dottin in athletics; Charlie Robins in basketball; and George Weech and Randy Rolle in baseball.

Robins is very boastful about his island. Gomeo would, as is his nature, just quietly say:”You know, Bimini did quite well in sports through the years.”However they express their pride in Bimini, it’s justified.

There are indeed many more sports stars from Bimini and also a revered team that have contributed largely to the claim of Biminites, of the island being the best in sports. Most synonymous with that baseball team was Glen Rolle. The late Rolle, whose shadow once covered all of Bimini, anchored the team’s years of superiority.

He was the big first baseman/slugger who stood out as the face of baseball in Bimini during the 1960s and 1970s. This was the case because he was also the major sponsor of the team. Rolle was the heart of the Marlins. He inspired his team at the plate, when he connected and drove a pitch into home-run territory.

Rolle encouraged his players that they could be the best. They achieved that status as one of the top teams in the country’s history. During the peak years, he ensured that the Bimini players travelled and lived in style. The large group of Bimini natives in New Providence, flocked to the Andre Rodgers Stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre when the Marlins were in town. It was a festival occasion.

The Marlins played a great role in hiking the popularity of baseball, enabling it to reign as king of sports. All along though, Rolle insisted on a foundation of substance. The Marlins thrived on the fundamentals of the game. As a result, they carved out a special niche in Bahamian baseball history.

The Marlins earned the right to be mentioned with storied franchises like the Penny Bankers(I-Need-A-Laundry), St. Bernard’s(Del Jane, Holsten Knights)and Bahamian Lumber(100 Pipers, Schiltz Beer). The main driving force of the team was none other than Glen Rolle.

(To respond to this column, please contact Fred Sturrup at frobertsturrup@gmail.com)

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