ROCKS SOUND, Eleuthera| One of South Eleuthera’s finest sons and a great sports icon for the Bahamas passed away suddenly today.
Bahamas Press is reporting the passing of former New York Mets Baseball player, a son of the Bahamian soil, Dudley “Dougue” Smith. He was 73-years-old.
The Rock Sound, Eleuthera resident suddenly became ill with serious breathing complications, presented himself to the community clinic and died shortly after.
“Dougie”, one of Eleuthera’s proud sons, in 2010 was inducted into The Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, National Hall of Fame for the many talents he displayed on the softball diamond as a player, coach and manager over the past four decades.
The Eleutheran native, born in the quaint settlement of Rock Sound on September 9th , 1948, always had a passion for sports. Among locals he is described as one of the greatest athletes ever.
He began playing softball at the tender age of twelve and little did he envision back then that he would become one of the most prolific players in The Bahamas and, indeed, in the world.
Many still can remember him as the player from The Bahamas who would oftentimes play without any catcher’s equipment.
Dougie, as he is affectionately called, is regarded as one of the most complete players to have suited up in a softball uniform. His discipline and love for the sport have rarely been matched. He has been one of the country’s greatest softball ambassadors, both at home and abroad.
He is a Bahamian hero, a national treasure and a great softball legend. Dougie first represented The Bahamas as a member of the men’s national team that competed in the Caribbean and Central America Championships in El Salvador back in 1972.
He also won the batting crown in that championship. Between 1972 and 1986 Dougie was a member of several national teams competing in Mexico, Tacoma, Washington, Santa Clara, Cuba, Colombia and Santo Domingo to mention a few. He was an integral part of the squad that took the Bahamas to 3rd in the World back in 1981.
He took on the role as Men’s National Team Coach in 1989 when the team traveled to Argentina and again in 1990 when they played in Cuba. In 1994 he was named Men’s National Team Manager and led The Bahamas to outstanding showings in Detroit, Colombia and several regional championships.
While an active player on the Men’s National Team, Dougie won the home run crown during competition against some of the world’s best in El Salvador. He was named to the All Tournament Team at the World Softball Championships in Tacoma, Washington back in 1980, and made the All Tournament Team as a pitcher in 1986, during competition in Santo Domingo.
One of his proudest moments in softball came when he coached The Bahamas National Team to victory over the United States in 1989.
With all these accomplishments and more, he was still a great son of the soil of the Bahamas who lifted proudly and represented honourably his country on the world stage.