Softball community coming together in aid of pioneer Greg Christie

Simon Lewis, left; Tournament Director Yvonne Lockhart, center, and Tournament Chairman Bernie Davis, right, invite teams and persons to join in the cause in their One-Pitch tournament fund-raiser.

Greg Christie is regarded as one of the top pioneers in shaping the landscape of sports on the island of Grand Bahama. Christie, a well-known softball enthusiast, is known as a man who wore many hats in the sports world and in the community.

Most notably he served as president of the Grand Bahama Softball Association and the Grand Bahama Baseball Association. Even more, Christie is one of the few Bahamians to have been honored by the International Softball Federation (ISF), all of this according to his long-time friend Simon Lewis.
‘With the extensive resume attached to Christie’s life, that is revered by others, those close to him in the realm of softball and baseball have come together to help Christie, as best as they can, in his time of need. Faced with a medical condition that would require some thousands of dollars to regulate, the troops have rallied to raise funds in the form of a One-Pitch Softball Tournament.
The tournament is scheduled to take place at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex Softball Park on September 23.

The games will begin at 9:00 a.m. that Saturday and will be played into the evening.

Christie has been a consultant for the Junior Softball and Baseball Development Programs, known as Rising Stars. President of Rising Stars, Yvonne Lockhart believed that a tournament is the fitting thing to do for a man who has contributed tirelessly to the sport.

“He’s been a pillar, foundation: you name it, he’s been that for us in the softball community. We thought it was only fitting to do our part to assist him as we know best, in the form of a One-Pitch Softball Tournament,” she stated.

Lockhart added, “We will target all aspects of the community. So we don’t want those who’ve been out of the sport to feel slighted or that they can’t compete. So we’re going to have a division for the church, the civic, the corporate community, the active softball community as well as the middle-aged. It promises to be a fun-filled event and a time of fellowship. We hope to bring a lot of the players of old, back together. It just promises to be a fun-filled event in support of Greg Christie.”

Aside from Christie’s local and international place in softball, Lewis noted other posts his long-time friend held.

“He was the president of the LIONS’ Club for Grand Bahama. Of course, he was the editor at The Freeport News for a number of years. Then he came back and served as Manager of Advertising to The Freeport News ... I can’t think of anybody who has so much passion for sports as Greg. Likewise, he’s served as the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Chapter at Mary Star on Grand Bahama and he continues to serve in that capacity, actively.

“He’s also shown his love and devotion for Mary, Star of the Sea (Catholic) Church helping them with the bulletins and whatever have you. So, he loves his church and loves his civic duties.

Again, I can’t think of anyone who has made that kind of significant contribution to softball, to baseball and to journalism, because I was a protege of his!

Lewis credited Christie as someone who never seeks any praise, but does things out of sheer love.
Tournament chairman Bernie Davis added that Christie served on the Atlanta Olympic Games Committee, when softball was being considered as an Olympic sport.

“Almost any meeting that is held at a higher level; although he is not serving as federation president he is still invited to these meetings, because he helps with the rules of the game.”
Davis furthered that Christie was also the Technical Director for the Grand Bahama Games, during its existence.

“When you talk about softball in this country and you talk about Greg Christie and we’re not just talking about Grand Bahama,” Lewis highlighted, “Greg would have traveled to Long Island to help get the league going there. He would have traveled to Abaco and helped the league get started there. He would have traveled to Exuma helped the league start there and of course, we know which island is termed the ‘Granddaddy’ of softball in this country, that is Eleuthera. He’s had an integral part in the formation of softball throughout this country.

“Wherever there is a softball league in this country or even the minor leagues, Greg had a part in it.”

For information on registration for teams or how to donate, persons can contact 727-3083, 352-7001, 533-7989, 533-0681, and 441-0378.

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