Ed Armbrister - a Bahamian hero
Senior FN Reporter
Have you ever met a "true-blue" Bahamian who played in the World Series?
Or, one that owns not one, but two World Series Championship rings?
Well, The Freeport News takes a step back into history to enlighten the future for many by introducing Ed Armbrister to Grand Bahamians, who may know of him and those who may not.
Armbrister was recruited in the early 70s to play major league baseball, and as he remembers the story it was a day during the Christmas holiday season.
He played with the Cincinnati Reds from 1973 to 1977.
"I remember I was painting my mother's house during the Christmas and a scout by the name of Paul Florence came by, he was with another gentleman Bernice Albury and they asked me to go out to the Sports Centre and do some training," he recalled.
The raw talent of the Englergston Street boy that grew up around the Nassau Street area was evident, and that was good enough for the scouts to offer him a professional player's contract on the spot.
"The scout liked what he saw and he gave me a professional contract," remembered Armbrister, noting that he never dreamed of playing professional baseball.
"Well you know, when I first got into baseball I never thought that it would be quite the experience, I just thought it would be another job," said Armbrister.
"But when I realize nowadays that I am the only Bahamian to have two World Series rings, 1975 and 1976, and there are a lot of other professionals trying to get a ring or trophy ... I know that it is a great accomplishment."
No matter the sport, he added, for athletes the ultimate goal is trying to get that ring or trophy.
"Most players, including Karl Malone have a lot of money but they don't have the ring or that trophy, so Ed Armbrister with two World Series rings is a great accomplishment and it is a shame that most people in The Bahamas don't really know who Ed Armbrister is, especially the kids in school."
Armbrister noted that it is the students, who should be the first to know who the heroes of The Bahamas are.
For his accomplishment Armbrister is being honoured this weekend at the HOYTES Annual Testimonial Banquet and he is excited about the honour.
"I am now here in Freeport to receive an award, which never happened in Nassau, which should have happened in Nassau."
Armbrister said it is a shame that such an event had to happen in Freeport, the second city, "where I don't even live, but I am proud to be here and I appreciate this and I know I am going to enjoy being here."
Armbrister is proud of his accomplishments for his country in baseball and thanked his wife and three children for their love and support.
This Bahamian legend is currently employed with Local Government and Consumer Affairs, stationed on Arawak Cay.
Here are some basic facts about Ed Armbrister;
First game August 8, 1973 at age 25
Last game October 2, 1977
He bats and throws right handed
Highlights — September 11, 1973 - The Cincinnati Reds whip the visiting
Dodgers 6 - 3, as Ed Armbrister hits a bases loaded double in the eighth inning to drive in three runs.
Ken Griffey's three-run homer in the fourth off Don Sutton starts the Reds scoring. The Reds push their lead to four games over LA in the National League West.
- October 14, 1975 - In a game featuring six home runs, three by each team, the Reds prevail 6 - 5 in the 10th inning the game is marred by a controversial play involving Cincinnati's Ed Armbrister and Boston's Carlton Fisk.
Armbrister lays down a sacrifice bunt in the 10th and seemingly hesitates breaking out of the batter's box; Fisk's subsequent throwing error leads to the Reds' winning run.
The Sox scream for an interference call from umpire Barney Barnett, but to no avail.
- July 31, 1976 - Reds reserve outfielder' Ed Armbrister collects four hits, including two homers, as the Reds pummel the Astros 12 - 1.
Armbrister's two homers are half his career total and his only two for the year.
* The "For all you do" testimonial Banquet is set to take place at the Our Lucaya Resort, beginning at 7 p.m.
Six other contributors to the development of youth and sports will also be honoured during the night.
HERO IN TOWN - Ed Armbrister (centre) is in Grand Bahama to receive a special honour from HOYTES (Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports) in a special banquet this Friday. Organiser and one of the founders of HOYTES, Gladstone "Moon" McPhee (right) stopped by The Freeport News with Armbrister and paid a special visit on Managing Editor, Oswald Brown (left), who is a baseball fan, particularly of Armbrister, and considers him to be one of his heroes. (Sports photo by Barbara Walkin)