WASHINGTON — Their smiles were as big as the significance of the moment, and the photographs exuded joy from the field far beyond the still frame captured by the cameras.
Nationals shortstop Lucius Fox and Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. were just hours away from becoming the first two Bahamian-born players in 61 years to appear in the same Major League game when they took the field Wednesday at Nationals Park. That had not happened since the Cubs’ Andre Rodgers and the Phillies’ Tony Curry made history at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia on April 22, 1961.
Chisholm and Fox’s paths converged for the first time on the big stage in a 2-1 Marlins victory over the Nationals. The leadoff hitter Chisholm went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Fox still is chasing his first Major League hit after going 0-for-4.
In total, only nine players born in the Bahamas have appeared in a big league game. This select group includes Chilsholm, Fox, Curry, Rodgers, two-time World Series champion Ed Armbrister, Wil Culmer, Wenty Ford, Antoan Richardson and Ormond Sampson.
The 24-year-old infielders from Nassau, separated in age by seven months, were part of the 2015 International signing class. Chisholm inked a deal with the D-backs and was traded to the Marlins in 2019, with whom he made his Major League debut in late ‘20. He has appeared in 160 games with Miami.
Fox’s path hasn’t been as direct. After he signed with the Giants in 2015, he was dealt to the Rays in ‘16 and then traded to the Royals in ‘20. Fox was claimed off waivers by the Orioles last November, only to be claimed again by the Nationals just 11 days later. He earned an early season callup and made his Major League debut on April 10.
Chisholm and Fox didn’t wait until they had reached the bigs to begin giving back to their community. They began hosting the “Don’t Blink Home Run Derby in Paradise” with outfielder Todd Isaacs Jr. in 2018, which features a youth clinic and home run derby on the beach.