Grand Bahama’s Warren Saunders Jr., has taken the first step in realizing his dream of playing major league baseball by signing with the New York Mets.
The Mather Town native, ‘John Hancocked’ his contract yesterday – Wednesday, August 29 – in the capital in front of family, friends and coaches.
His mother, Phyllis Saunders, spoke with this daily following the momentous event, sharing her excitement over her son’s accomplishment.
“Warren has been playing baseball from Tee Ball,” she recalled. “He originally started playing with his cousins. LJ, Clinton and the late Anthony Cooper. Then under the tutelage of Sis. Maria Thompson and Eugene Thompson, at Freeport Gospel Chapel, and then at the YMCA with Legacy Baseball he grew from Tee Ball straight up.”
Warren, who completed his high school career in the U.S. (Linsly School, Wheeling, WV) graduated in 2017 and according to his mother, wanted to pursue his baseball career.
However, that was not what she wanted for her son.
“Warren played his last game, as we thought at the Nationals, where he was the MVP. At Nationals he was seen by Coach Geron Sands, who thought that he had talent and saw his potential and took him under his wings in Nassau.
“And under Coach Sands’ tutelage this is where he is today,” said the proud mother. “But he’s been an avid player all of his life – primary school and high school.
“I remember nights where I would get up and meet Warren fully dressed in a baseball suit swinging a bat in my front room. All I said at the time was break it, break it!
“But I thank God that he never gave up, he continued and continued to fight and through his endurance he now has the goal that he wanted to achieve,” said the emotional mother.
“And I pray to God that he keeps humble and hungry, which is his hashtag, and move on … God will allow him to go higher and higher in his baseball career. I am so proud of him … I love you, I love you, I love you, and I pray that God will continue to guide your steps and you will go higher in baseball.”
Mrs. Saunders said that she is thankful to God that the New York Mets saw him and gave him the opportunity to pursue his career.
Her message to other youngsters pursuing their dreams, “as long as you have that drive for it push, push. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve it, because at the very minute when you decide not to, that’s when God works.
“So, continue to push, continue to push. And parents, it isn’t easy but I encourage you to continue to encourage your children to seek after their goals. This wasn’t where I wanted my boy to go, because I wanted education. I told him after high school he’s going off to college, but he said mommy no … that’s not what I want, I want to pursue baseball.
“So, we decided to give him one year from 2017 to 2018 and here we are in the midst of 2018 signing his contract. I thank God, I give Him all the thanks,” said the excited mother, who was awaiting her son’s flight home last night to give him that “mother’s hug.”