It was eight years ago, in this very space, when I brought to the attention of readers, the awesome contribution to national sports development by, yes, that of the “other” McPhee. Reference is to the older twin, Sidney McPhee, also known as “Moon”, just like his more famous brother, Coach Gladstone McPhee.
Ironically, while Gladstone, the younger brother by a short period, which slipped over into another day, has been afforded a lot of well-deserved accolades for his work in sports/education, the senior twin most definitely is due high praise and is an icon.
He should be in The Bahamas’ National Sports Hall of Fame!
In junior baseball and basketball, Sidney was a lion afield, and on the court, respectively. He gave no quarter, was prepared to battle no matter the task or risk, and achieved greatly beyond his small stature. In cricket, I have long held the view that there was never a more courageous opening batsman in Bahamian history. The argument could be made about a few being overall better, but none defied the odds as Sidney did. He was also quite good in tennis.
Indeed, Sidney was a quality athlete and he will always have that distinction over his younger brother.
It’s debatable whether Sidney deserves to be in the National Sports Hall of Fame on his athletic ability alone, but his innovative venture, which resulted in developing an entirely new sporting environment, closes the case.
Sidney was the founding president of the Hotel Sporting Association (HSA). During the 1970s and 1980s, other than cultivating serious, attractive competition between the hotels in a variety of sporting disciplines, Sidney’s motivational attitude was strong and propelled many, who evolved into players capable of doing very well in structured leagues.
Throughout this sports metamorphosis, Sidney was the glue. All and sundry within the hotel industry believed in his leadership. Upper echelon executives readily gave permission for employees to take part in the HSA schedules, sponsored fully.
The players were thrilled to have their very own forum and they were happy to be directly connected to the sports revolution, engineered by their mentor, Sidney “Moon” McPhee. The HSA does not exist today, but the role it played for several decades under the guidance of Sidney, is highly significant to The Bahamas’ sports brand.
Is Sidney National Sports Hall of Fame-worthy?
He definitely is, and equally as much as scores of those who have been enshrined. Hopefully, when the time comes around for crafting the long and short lists for the 2020 class, Sidney “Moon” McPhee, the by-far-better-athlete of the twins, will be included.
Accordingly, come November, hopefully, he will take his place among the nation’s sports luminaries, joining his brother, a number of close friends, and some former teammates.
Continued best wishes to my friend Sidney!
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.