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Bahamian Baseball Coach A Major Deal in the Major League

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Giants First Base Coach Antoan Richardson talks coaching in the majors, the state of baseball in The Bahamas and his role in it.



The Giants First Base Coach Talks About Coaching in the Majors, The State of Baseball in The Bahamas and His Role in It

Antoan Richardson is tired. 

Richardson made history in 2019 when he became the first Bahamian to ever coach in a major league baseball game. Over three years later, he’s a grizzled veteran, trying to recover from the grind of last season and get himself mentally prepared for the next. The season may be a grind, but offseason life is much more straightforward: “It’s pretty simple” he tells me, “work stuff for San Francisco and community initiatives back home.”

Luckily for the Bahamian baseball-watching public, we were able to talk to him about what he’s been up to, both with the Giants and at home in The Bahamas.

But before we get to all that, he was insistent on clearing one thing up: 

Antoan Wasn’t Asked to Participate in The Caribbean Baseball Cup 

There’s nobody with a Bahamian Passport more qualified to lead the Bahamas National Baseball squad than Antoan Richardson, the only Bahamian to ever coach in the best baseball league in the world. Despite this, nobody from the Bahamas Baseball Federation even bothered to reach out to him. 

“It would have been an honor to participate and coach and be a part of what was going on back home, but I wasn’t asked or invited.”

He isn’t fretting about being overlooked though, Richardson remains optimistic that he will be tapped in the future to coach the Bahamas squad. “Hopefully next time I can get on the federation’s radar because it’s definitely something I would be interested in doing. I would love to represent The Bahamas as a national team coach.” 

He Thinks The Giants Will Have a Better Year

Richardson’s San Francisco Giants had a whirlwind 2021 season winning 107 games to take the National League West division before regressing to an oddly symmetrical 81-82 record in 2022.

Richardson attributes this dropoff to playing in a gruelling division that features two of the better teams in baseball: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. “We did really well against the rest of the league, but the Dodgers and the Padres had our number.” He added, “when you play those two teams 38 times in a season and they have your number, you won’t have the best record.”

Despite this, he believes that things are looking up for the team from the west bank of The Bay.

“Our players are working hard to come back and challenge for the West, we added outfielder Mitch Haniger and free agency isn’t over”.

His last point would ring as prophetic as the Giants would announce a few days after we talked that they signed superstar shortstop Carlos Correa to a record-breaking 13-year deal worth $350 million.

He is Very Much Involved in Youth Development in The Bahamas

Despite working on the other side of the continent for half of the year, Richardson is very much involved with baseball and general youth development in The Bahamas. “Currently, we have a “Learn to Play” program on the western side of New Providence where we introduce the game to children”. He adds, “So far we’ve had scrimmages. Overall, it’s going very well. Crachad Laing and Trae Sweeting have been running the day-to-day operations and they’re doing a great job”. 

Antoan working out with some young Bahamian baseball players (photo courtesy of Antoan Richardson)

His initiatives not only aim to equip Bahamian youth with the resources they need to play baseball in college and the pros, but he also wants to equip them for jobs in sports like coaching and front office jobs. “I’m just looking forward to helping develop those pathways and open those doors to Bahamian kids”. 

He Thinks The Bahamas Can Close the Gap

Antoan thinks that Bahamian baseball players can compete with anyone in the world, but there is still work to be done.

 “We’re a little behind, in terms of the numbers of games that [our youth players] play compared to in other places. But being creative in the way that we institute our development systems will help us close the gap.” He added, “although we may be behind, we can use data that we have from the Major Leagues as well as the collective lessons we’ve learned to catch up which will create more opportunities for Bahamians to succeed in the game of baseball”. 

In recent years, The Bahamas has been a baseball hotbed, producing dozens of prospects. Anyone can sign with a Major League team for a small bonus, but for our athletes to rise through the labrinthian process it takes to get to the major league and have actual, sustainable careers, guidance and mentorship from people like Antoan Richardson, people who have really done what they’re trying to do, is absolutely paramount.

Plus, he’d be happy to provide it.