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Legends On Deck

More Bahamians International signings.

MLB international signing

The MLB 2019 international signing day saw more Bahamians international signings. Moreover, a total of 4 young players from the Islands signed on July 2nd, 2019.

The atmosphere was friendly at last night’s signing at Baha Mar Resorts Ball Room with family, friends, coaches, and supporters both local and international.

Lots of laughter and happy faces, hand clapping, and cell phones camera snapping away, you guys should have been there.

Before last night’s signing; Bahamian baseball players were being hired to play minor league baseball from the 1950s. Furthermore, from the 2014 MLB international signings to this 2019 class of four, the Bahamas has had 24 players to get international signing days called.

The Class of 2019 Zion Bannister
Zion Bannister

Zion Bannister Taxes Rangers

This kid is who most coaches dreamt about having on their team; Zion Bannister. From T-Ball at the age of 4 or 5 years old, he played the game fundamentally, attributed to his grandfather Samual “Bookie” Glover who played the game of baseball in the local league at home.

In addition to playing a few years of high school baseball in Maryland, Zion decided to improve on the game that would help him to follow his dream.

In short, He wanted to play minor league baseball. Hence he talked about his journey to signing day, and how tough it was for him at times and wanting to quit, but hard work paid off in the end. Congratulation Zion Bannister.

The Class of 2019 Dax Stubbs
More Bahamians international signing

Dax Stubbs, Baltimore Orioles. photo by Trevere Saunders

Short on words and well mannered is Dax Stubbs. Here is a quiet, unassuming kid that has the talent to play the game of baseball, and was a prize player for coaches at Freedom Farm baseball.

Hence, Dax did not last long in any of his age group drafts. He was the total package, speed, glove, bat, and a strong arm.

His play spoke for him because he was short of words. His game and manners will take him a long way in life, Congratulations Dax Stubbs.

The Class of 2019 Everette Cooper
More Bahamians international signing

Everette Cooper Houston Astros. photo by Trevere Saunders

Everette Cooper was a skinny kid when I first saw him; Thinking he will get lost in the shuffle didn’t happen, cause of his height, he was noticeable to coaches.

The Nationals were coming up, and all the teams set to go; President Greg Burrows asks me why Everette, wasn’t a team? I told him he couldn’t make the 15U team, so put him on your 18U squad! And that wasn’t a request. Happy to play 18U at the age of 14 was exciting for Everette.

Not to Mention that he made every team that went to nationals from Freedom Farm up to this day. Congratulations to you Everette Cooper see you at the top.

The Class of 2019 Ian Lewis
More Bahamians international signing

Ian Lewis Miami Marlins. photo by Trevere Saunders

A Gem, Ian Lewis is the Man, like Jazz Chisholm, he was determined to play minor league baseball on his way to major league baseball. Many kids live close to Freedom Farm Baseball Park, but for one Ian Lewis, this was a dream that he took full advantage off.

I remember some days going to the Farm to make field repairs and Ian would be out there with his little brother hitting ground balls. He took full advantage of the batting cage and would work out with any coach that came to the park.

Hundreds of kids pass through the Freedom Farm Baseball League, and the coaches always know the special ones. Ian Lewis was one of them.

He was a small kid that wasn’t afraid of the ball, and yes, he made contact with the baseball at the plate. Also, MLB scout loved him and would always ask for him on their visits. Congratulations, Ian Lewis work harder.

Looking Forward to 2020

More Bahamians international signings, and now on to the class of 2020.

 

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Jeff Francis

Office Assistant at Wynn Bahamas Ltd
Jeffrey was born on April 29th, 1961, in Nassau, Bahamas to Rejoiner Ann Rolle and Jerome James Francis Etienne.

Married to Andrea G. Rolle-Francis, they have two daughters; Janae Latoya Francis, a graduate of Allegany College of Maryland, and Jessica Lee Francis a graduate Potomac State College West Virginia University in Kyser West Virginia.

Jeffrey was coaching the sport of baseball from 1980 at the age of 18 years old because he loved the sport as a kid. He started listening to the game over the radio out of Miami Florida in the late 60s and in the early 70s started playing the game locally in various local leagues right up to the premier senior league; a league where all of the current Bahamian minor leaguers played.

In 1982, Jeffrey had an invite to a three day tryout with the New York Yankees in Hollywood Florida, which was an awesome experience that is lasting a life time memory for him.

Jeffrey has been following the Bahamian baseball players in the minor leagues since 1999 with Angelo Burrows, but found greater interest with the signing of Antoan Richardson in 2005. He also writes a year end review on their play on his Facebook page, Baseball Bahamas, and he has a website with the same name. He has a great following and would love to expose the baseball players to a bigger worldwide audience.

He has a good relationship with all the players because he personally coached most of them.

His favorite MLB Team is the Detroit Tigers from 1969.
Jeff Francis
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