The atmosphere on Saturday afternoon at the Montagu foreshore was fierce and exciting as the 2nd Annual Don’t Blink 242 Home Run Derby ended with Team Isaacs winning the team event over Team Fox, and Toronto Blue Jays’ prospect Bo Bichette repeating as the individual champion.
The event was organized by Bahamian professional baseball players Todd Isaacs Jr. and Lucius Fox Jr. Isaacs plays in the Cleveland Indians system and Fox plays in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. A new component was added to the program this year in which players were drafted on the two teams. Team Isaacs swung for the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group and Team Fox’s charity was the Cancer Society of The Bahamas.
In the end, Team Isaacs came away with the victory and was able to donate $2,100 to its charity. Team Fox was able to donate $1,400 to its charity.
After the win, Isaacs said it was fun to get the win over Fox because he was talking a lot leading up to Saturday.
“It was fun to win the team event because my team was not as evenly matched as Lucius’ team. He was talking smack the whole time so I was like, ‘we will win on Saturday’ and we did it,” Isaacs said.
Fox did not deny talking smack to Isaacs before the competition, but he congratulated the other team on the victory.
“Before competition day, I told him I wasn’t going to just beat him but I was going to destroy him. His team came and won, so congratulations to them. They brought it to the beach today,” Fox said.
Bichette was the individual champion for the second straight year. He hit nine home-runs in the final round, defeating Isaacs 9-8.
After the event, Fox said he felt the energy from the first swing of the bat and thanked the Bahamian people for the support.
“It felt amazing. From the first swing of the bat we felt the energy in the crowd. We want to thank the people who came out to support us and made this event happen. Without the people it wouldn’t have been half as good as it was. Thanks to the people who came out. Hopefully next year it’s going to be bigger and better,” Fox said.
Hundreds of fans crowded the Montagu foreshore, making it difficult for patrons to move through the crowd. Isaacs saw that as a signal of how big baseball is becoming in The Bahamas.
“Baseball is the future here in The Bahamas. It will continue to grow every year,” he said. “We had beautiful weather, and we were able to show all elements of what it means to be a Bahamian-born baseball player. We had a lot of fun today. The crowd was loud the whole time and this event will continue to grow in the coming years. Baseball will continue to flourish in The Bahamas,” Isaacs said.
He said the entire event was a success, and he can’t wait to do it again next year.
“I’m looking forward to next year,” Fox said. “We will think about some new ideas. We want to bring something new to the people every year – we don’t want the same old thing every year. We will sit down and look for ways to make the whole weekend more exciting.”
Isaacs echoed those sentiments. He said: “I think we will continue to get better, we will continue to evolve. We have a full year to plan and see how we can make it a little more exciting for next year.”
The event is already gaining traction on the international scene. A major leaguer attended and competed, for the first time, this year, and the event was featured on mlb.com. The major leaguer who competed was Miami Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson.
There were a total of 16 Bahamians and nine international players who participated in the event.