Mr Wenty Ford

Wenty Ford 1946-1980 The first and only [to date] Bahamian to pitch in Major League Baseball

Born Percival Edmund Wentworth Ford (known as Wenty Ford), on November 25, 1946, in Nassau, Bahamas. Wenty Ford was the firstborn child to the parents of Percival Edmund Wentworth Ford, Sr. (printer for the Nassau Guardian newspaper) and Florence Coleby Ford. They had eleven children, eight boys, and three girls; however, one of the daughters died at a young age.

Percival Edmund Wentworth “Wenty” Ford – This unique Bahamian-born, a huge contributor to nation-building, primarily through sports and youth development, had a mixed blend of characteristics. He was modest and mild, bold and brash/aggressive, balanced and generous, encouraging but demanding of the best results, comfortable in sophisticated settings, but very much at home in humble/ less affluent environments. Such was Wenty Ford, a bit of an enigma, but quality throughout. In basketball, he never mastered the art of dribbling with both hands; however, he was quite able to negotiate the full court at the point guard position with his right hand alone. He didn’t throw the ball from the pitching mound in baseball with a lot of velocity, but he got batters out throughout his career with breaking balls and changeups.

He never took journalism classes, but he became a capable sports journalist based on his knowledge of the various sports disciplines and reading articles in newspapers and

magazines. Wenty had a heart of gold, and he was compassionate to a fault. He hated to see anyone taken advantage of.

In sports as an athlete, he was territorial regarding his teammates and didn’t give an inch in supporting them, yet he would be the first to offer the olive branch, often when compromises were necessary. “Man, let’s play.” That was his motto as an athlete and also as a coach and mentor. Wenty was as competitive and on guard for fair play as any, but in order to resolve budding on-field issues, he was the one to lend situations the sobering words.

He was not perfect, but all-purpose, productive, diplomatic, engaging, positively aggressive, and well-meaning, as a human being could be. Indeed, the value of the man Percival Edmund Wentworth Ford went far beyond being the only Bahamian pitcher to ever perform at the Major Leagues level; piloting the Kentucky Colonels through a popular and successful era; or being the catalyst for the significant on-field efforts of the original St. Bernard’s Baseball Club (which later was connected to Kentucky Chicken, Holsten Knights Beer, and Del Jane Fashions brands). Most definitely, Wenty Ford was a man for all seasons.

by Frederick Sturrup, J.P. Media/Sports Administrator Consultant

Wenty Ford Career Highlights

First national cricket team as a twelve-year-old bowler while still the youngest member of St. Bernard’s Sporting Club’s men’s Team.

In front of just 194 fans at home, Ford threw a perfect game against the Fort Lauderdale Yankees, a team that included future big-leaguers Tony Solaita and Johnny Ellis.

In February 1966, the Atlanta Braves signed him to that Club’s Minor League system

The local pitcher’s initial appearance on September 10, 1973, in the Major Leagues against the San Francisco Giants with veteran Juan Marichal on the mound for the Giants was a smashing success.

He went the route and gave up only five hits against a power-packed Giants lineup in pitching the Braves to a 10-4 victory. Ford also collected two hits and drove in a run during the game Leagues (Nassau Guardian, Tuesday, September 11, 1973).

Right-Hand pitcher for the Braves Organization 1968-75.

Wenty Ford, Major League Rookie named “Player of the Month” by the Atlanta Braves organization, September 1973. He was especially honored before the last game of the season, September 30, 1973.

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