Sports

Bahamian culture on full display at Marlins game in Miami

MIAMI, Florida – Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. and the Miami Marlins challenged the New York Mets this past weekend, and came out on the losing end in two of the three games, but Saturday’s encounter was all about the lone Bahamian suiting up in the majors at this time.

The Marlins recognized and honored Chisholm on ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. Bobblehead Day presented by loanDepot at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, on Saturday. The Marlins lost the game, 5-3 to their division rival Mets but there was a festive Bahamian atmosphere regardless as fans and baseball enthusiasts celebrated the second edition of Bahamian Heritage Night with the Marlins.

According to reports, activities centered around the backdrop of a beautiful Bahamian-themed celebration. The festivities were in celebration of Bahamian son of the soil Chisholm – a starting infielder with the Marlins.

The aquamarine, gold and black colors signifying Bahamian pride lit up the park’s promenade and a pregame junkanoo rushout led by the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue out of Miami and legendary junkanooers Quentin ‘Barabbas’ Woodside and Langston Longley, moved the nearly 20,000 spectators to their feet.

A young fan shows off her “Jazz” Chisholm Jr. Bobblehead during Bahamian Heritage Night at the Miami Marlins and New York Mets game, at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, on Saturday.

Percy ‘Vola’ Francis, known as the ‘King of Junkanoo’ in The Bahamas and leader of the Shell Saxons Superstars junkanoo organization, also made a special appearance during the performance, showcasing his popular ‘Vola Shuffle’ dance move. The crowd joined in the celebration with many spectators waving Bahamian flags, beating goatskin drums and dancing to the pulsating music.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg threw out the first pitch of the game, and spectators were treated to more 

Bahamian experiences throughout the night. The heritage celebration is a collaborative initiative by the Miami Marlins, the Bahamas Consulate General (Miami) Office, The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, the National Sports Authority (NSA) of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA).

Acting Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Latia Duncombe said: “This is a proud moment for The Bahamas, to witness one of our own excel in Major League Baseball (MLB), and to see Bahamian heritage being celebrated before thousands of fans. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the authentic cultural expressions that visitors to our destination can experience.”

Chisholm’s outstanding talent combined with his charismatic persona has made him an all-around fan favorite in the majors. He is the first Bahamian player with the Marlins MLB 

franchise and only the seventh Bahamian to ever play in the majors.

This year, fans were able to receive an exclusive Bahamian Heritage Marlins Jersey and a collectible ‘Jazz’ Chisholm Jr. bobblehead souvenir, presented by LoanDepot.

The night ended with a postgame concert featuring lively and rhythmic Bahamian music, marking an exceptional celebration of the country’s deep ties with Miami.

As for Chisholm’s performance, he finished a double in four at-bats on Saturday and was 3-for-7 for the series with a run scored. He didn’t play in Sunday’s game – a game the Marlins won in dramatic fashion, 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Nick Fortes in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Chisholm is now batting .255 with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs (runs batted in) and 39 runs scored. He is having a phenomenal second full season in the majors, and based on the first returns, Chisholm is the leading vote-getter for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles, California, on July 19, for second basemen in the National League. 

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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