Richardson hosts ‘Career paths to athletic success’ forum
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jan 09, 2017
Bahamian professional baseball player Antoan Richardson hosted his “Career paths to athletic success” athletic/educational forum on Friday at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel. The motive behind the forum was to help local athletes discover what it takes to make it as both collegiate and professional athletes. The session was free of charge and open to all athletes looking to transition into the next phase of their respective careers.
The panel featured Richardson, fellow Bahamian pro baseball player Albert Cartwright, Major League Baseball (MLB) player Mike Baxter, Head Baseball Coach at the University of Michigan Erik Bakich, and Manager of International Baseball Operations for the Office of the Commissioner Rebecca Seesel.
During the forum, Richardson and the panel broke down how to find success as a collegiate player, the importance of finding a balance between education and athletics and the risks involved in entering the professional ranks.
“At some point, you have to realize, that although you are on a path to MLB, you have to also think of another path. Although the athlete may want to play in the major league, it’s important to have another path in case that doesn’t happen,” said Richardson. “There are too many stories of good athletes not getting to their full potential.”
One of the common messages among the speakers was the importance of knowing what comes with being a professional, and the maturity level required to handle it. Also on the
agenda, was the issue of how some athletes jump the gun on making pivotal decisions.
“There’s a certain level of polish and maturity and advancement that comes with being able to start your pro career on your terms, opposed to when you may not be ready, but it’s your only shot,” said Bakich. “You want to be able to do it on your terms, and if you’re not someone who wants to go to school, then you are deciding that you want to make this your career, versus thinking long term and having an education to fall back on. I’ll never say that one way is right and the other is wrong, but as a college coach, I’ll tell you that the long term picture needs to be in focus.”
Richardson, who has seen success on both levels of play, collegiate and in the pros, is currently an outfielder for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.