Preserving the Rich History of Baseball in the Bahamas
Eugene Sissy Taylor
They called him “Sissy” but it was just a Nick Namehe had a great sense of humor.
No One Can Hit ME! The Eugene Sissy Taylor Story By Adrian “JimRice” FrancisYou can see him wheeling his way down the corridors of Nassau Street, and unless you are from the area he would remain incognito and you would never learn his story.The young people in Harlem call him BAM! But his teammates and brothers in the early 80’s knew him as Bursell. Eugene ‘ Sissy’ Taylor, he is bound to a wheel chair and for a man who stood 6’ 3’ inches tall, the curve balls of life have now allowed the entire world to tower over one of the most feared Bahamian baseball players of all times.Partly deaf in one ear and suffering a paralysis stemming from a dog bight, Taylor listens carefully as he answers questions as to what brought him to his present state and condition and tells the story of how life use to be. “ I was running through a yard one day and a dog bight me, because I didn’t get check right away, my leg got infected and that is why I am in the chair, Taylor explained. Being incapacitated is only a part of the challenge faced by Taylor; the wheelchair has become his life and existence. When asked about his family, Bursell bowed his head in contemplation as if to think of who might be left. “ My brother Don died you know and Sea Egg is gone, but it is what it is, Taylor said softly. I go up the road to them all the time, this time pointing toward Mcquay Street and the area known as Harlem, his homestead.Sissy Taylor stems from one of the greatest sports family of his generation. If you were a part of the glory days of baseball you would remember the stories of the Fords, Seymours, Rogers, Woods, Huylers and then there was the Taylors.Harlem produced three major sports families, The Huylers, Taylors and the Ambristers and what a production! The Harlem Knights led by Anthony Poker Huyler brought a crew to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center and the Andre Rogers Stadium that was second to none. But pitching was the name of the game and Sissy Taylor sometimes did not need a supporting cast. Taylor continued, “ Not say bragging but there are not to many hitters I have ever faced in my life, I could say I did not strike out.” In his reminisce Burcell remembers a night facing the St. Pauli Girl’s Barons, I struck out Eddie Ford four times that night. The third time he threw his bat and the fourth time I told him to bring plywood.”As the stories got better one could only look at one of the greatest athletes in the history of The Bahamas and wonder what could have been! Imagining did not stop me from question though, Sissy how do you feel now? “ I feel bad and only wish things could have been better. But every now and then people does pass here and do lil something for me. They does talk to me about the good old days and it does bring me round.”Digging into an old bag, Eugene Sissy Taylor pulls out an old baseball and begins to demonstrate his devastating curve ball grip. Watch now Jim Rice he said, “ No one could hit that.”as I left Nassau Street I felt like I had left a world of make believe, a time of fantasy, and a moment of only memories. I felt sad, but then I thought of all the times I had the opportunity to see him pitch. I think about the screaming crowds and the team that stood behind him. I could faintly hear Poker Huyler and Roosie Archer say, “ WHERE TO SHOOT BURCEL” after he pitch.The stadium is now torn down, and Sissy Taylor now only sits down, but who could say that after all this young man has gone through that his story does not ring a bell in the hearts of all us who can only remember.