By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
How do you succinctly sum up a successful Softball career that spanned more than 30 years playing a sport you love in St. Thomas and Tortola?
“I had my times,” reflected Raymundo “Mundo” Boynes. “I had my good time and I had my bad times. But, I had better times than bad times.”
Like Bert “Big Man” Henley and Elroy “Ellie” Henly among other players, Mundo simultaneously played in league on St. Thomas and Tortola during his career. His most memorable season was after winning the title with the Vikings in St. Thomas then played with the Marlins on Tortola.
“I came to Tortola and shut out every team except the Blue Wings during the regular season,” he fondly recalled. “They had beaten me in Baughers Bay and when we met in the championships in town, I shut them out for 27 innings. I shout them out the first two games, then Algie Mathavious started and gave up three runs and Ashton Barronville brought me in with the bases loaded and I struck out the side and shot them out the rest of the way. And I did almost the same thing in St. Thomas that same year. But, those Blue Wings put some wood on me in Baughers Bay that year.”
Mundo started playing with the Ramblers then went on to play with the Astros, Marlins, Clippers and the Vikings and Apaches in St. Thomas. “I’ve won championships in St. Thomas and on Tortola,” he recalled. “I pitched and also played second and third base. But, I like third and pitching more.”
He was 15 when he began playing with the Ramblers in the local league and played 25 years in St. Thomas, and has pitched with teams from St. Croix, who carried him to tournaments in Puerto Rico. He was with St. Thomas when he played in a World Tournament in Orlando, Florida. “I have about four pitching crowns,” he pointed out.
Mundo says pitching is a lost art in the entire Virgin Islands. “Softball is not at the standard now as it used to be. It has lost a lot of the high standard that used to be there,” the veteran noted. “To me, Tortola is still doing very well. There’s no fast pitch softball league going on in St. Thomas—I don’t know why—but I look at a few of the teams playing on Tortola. They’re not doing bad, but at least they’re holding on. After about two maybe three teams, the standard is low—not like it used to be.”
Long before there was the luxury of lights, Mundo recalls the preparations and the competitiveness to get on a team. “We used to practice every day until we couldn’t see anymore,” he remembers. “At that time, we used to sometimes pay young players to hold positions for us until we knock off from our jobs. When you came, they were ready to go as they were holding spots for players. Even in offseason, we were still playing softball. Nowadays, it’s not like that.”