The world is set to come to The Bahamas through the sport of baseball.
Arguably, the biggest baseball tournament to ever be held in The Bahamas is just a few days away, with the 2022 Babe Ruth Baseball Caribbean Region 12-and-Under (12U) Championship and 16-and-Under (16U) Invitational set for next weekend, July 7-11, at the renovated fields at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
The 2022 Caribbean region championship for 12U will feature eight teams – two from The Bahamas. Other nations represented are Aruba, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Teams from the United States and as far away as China are entered in the 16U tournament.
Commissioner Babe Ruth Baseball Caribbean Region Greg Burrows Sr. is spearheading the event. He’s responsible for bringing the five-day regional classic to The Bahamas.
For the 12U championship, there will be pool play for the first three days of the tournament. The single elimination playoffs are set for Sunday, July 10 and the championship and bronze medal games will be played on the Independence Day Holiday – Monday, July 11.
A grand opening ceremony, encompassing a historic and cultural display, is set for 7 p.m. at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on July 7, and admission will be free of charge to the general public. There are five-day passes for the tournament itself – $65 for adults and $20 for children. Single-day tickets can be obtained for $15 for adults and $5 for children.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg said that the Government of The Bahamas is throwing its full support behind the regional tournament.
“It’s a great pleasure for the government to have the opportunity to support this event,” said the minister. “This is a part of the group of events to advance our ‘Sports in Paradise’ brand. We want to recognize Rev and Cable Bahamas for their partnership with us to ensure that this event comes off. The amount of money that is invested in our youth, in terms of the future of our nation, it is really not sufficient for the lives of the young men that are saved through sports and the staging of these events. We have a lot of professional baseball players out there and this is where they get their start so the investment is worth it.
“Sports events like this puts heads in beds but it is also giving our young people an opportunity to excel in sports, be professional athletes and explore the world. We are pleased to be hosting this event and much more are coming in the pipelines. We will continue to build on the ‘Sports in Paradise’ brand.”
The winner of the 12U Caribbean region championship will advance to the Cal Ripken Major70 World Series at Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri, from August 4-13, 2022.
As for Team Bahamas, the two squads were chosen from a baseball showcase featuring players from all of the major leagues in the country. Javier Bowe and Lionel Ferguson Jr. are the managers of the two 12U teams and Greg Burrows Jr. is the manager of the 16U team.
Marlon Bostwick and Kristian Thompson will coach the team that will be managed by Ferguson and Alonzo Pratt Jr. and Kenny Mondesir will coach the team that will be managed by Bowe. Albert Cartwright will coach the 16U team that will be managed by Burrows. Bahamian Martin Burrows is the Head Umpire and he will be supervising a team of officials from The Bahamas and abroad.
The teams are being housed at Breezes Bahamas Resort & Spa.
“We believe that we will have high-quality representation for The Bahamas,” said Bowe. “In the pitching department, from one to 14, we have the ability to pitch at this level. We are going to be well-represented on the mound and we have sufficient pitchers to honor pitch count rules and be very effective. We have what it takes to go out there and compete at a high level. It’s just up to us to put it all together and go out there and get the job done.”
Bowe, who is also the head of government innovations at Rev, said it was a no-brainer for them to come on board as a sponsor, providing internet connectivity and coverage.
“At Rev, we’re connecting individuals in the communities in a positive and meaningful way,” said Bowe. “We jumped at the opportunity to be a partner in this event, thereby enhancing community lives.”
Hundreds of international guests are expected to venture to The Bahamas for the staging of the regional classic – a 80-90 member delegation from the United States alone is set to come to these shores.
The public can purchase tickets from the event’s box office at the National Sports Authority’s (NSA) Head Office at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. As mentioned, there are five-day passes at $65 for adults and $20 for children, and single-day tickets can be obtained for $15 for adults and $5 for children.