He Loved The Game: By Adrian Francis He emptied his soul to the very end. You could not question his Catholicism, his Politics and for God sake please don’t ask him about his Dodgers. To many in the public who knew him from a distance his name was Jim Wood, but to those whose lives he touched and mentored he was just Skip. James Wood past away at his homestead in Sea Breeze on Tuesday and joined the core of great sports leaders and administrators who have made their mark and have transitioned. Considered one of the greatest baseball managers and teachers in The Bahamas, Wood stood as the manager of Heineken St. Bernards and had the only team to stare dynasties like Holston Knights and The St. Pauli Girl Barons in the face and take the 1981 championship from them.In the mid 1980’s Wood became the President of The Bahamas Baseball Association and led numerous National teams around the region and the world to compete in international baseball tournaments. He was a long serving executive in The Bahamas Olympic Association where he ensured that baseball’s presence was always well represented.Jim Wood was more than a baseball manager and coach he was a baseball dad, fathering some of the best crop in the nation’s history. Just as sports royalty flowed from Windsor Lane and gave birth to National Hall of Famers, Wenty Ford, Eddie Ford and Linda Ford, the sons of Jim Wood came onto the scene. With Dave 20 Wood leading the way, Andre Star Wood was the golden boy signing a professional contract to play short-stop with the Toronto Blue Jays. But just as the Fords produced many, the sons of Jim Wood and clan became their rivalry. Ken Blackus, Brad 27, Trevor Knuck , Jeff Uncle, and Rico Wood were believed to have been born with baseball gloves on their hands. Oria Wood the daughter of Jim Wood and Senior Sports Officer in The Ministry of Sports is considered one of the top five softball players in the country’s history. His grandsons Marvin Toogie Wood and Teran Poo Wood are regarded among the best soft ballers in the country today Just as Jim Wood loved his baseball, he loved his cricket. As a young man he too was a bowler and cricketer representing The Bahamas on many national teams. What made Jim Wood unique was his love and passion for the sports of baseball and cricket. In his early years as manager Wood loved his St. Bernards and it was in that name that he found peace. He stood as the only manager at the ballpark who was shadowed by his Priest Father Marcian Peters who became the angel intercessor in the good and the bad, the wins and the losses, the triumphs and the tragedies. The name Jim Wood will go down in Bahamian history with long leadership, loyalty to friends, and a father to the finish. His legacy and epitaph will be written not on stones, but on the heart of young men and women whose lives he touched. If you listen carefully you can still here him say, “ No body move until the ball hit.” Jim Wood made an impression from a distance, but he came up close and made an impact.
A Tribute to James Franklyn Wood
PRESERVING THE RICH HISTORY OF BASEBALL IN THE BAHAMAS