…was highly touted as the most naturally talented ChattergoonBy Frederick HalleyIN 1996, Hemnarine Chattergoon became the first Guyanese batsman to register centuries in his first two innings of a Regional Under-19 tournament, a record that still stands to this day. The opponents were Barbados and the Windward Islands.Regarded by many as the most naturally talented of the Chattergoon brothers, Hemnarine was destined to represent Guyana at the First Class level with the likelihood of donning West Indies colours.Chattergoon, following his epic 217 in the 2016 SCA Elite League semi-final versus Bawa– rare moment.Following a successful 1996 regional tournament, played in Jamaica, Hemnarine was awarded a place in the West Indies youth team to oppose Pakistan, and justified his place with a magnificent even-hundred at the Kensington Oval, Barbados against the likes of Abdul Razaq and Shahid Afridi. As fate would have it, the right-handed batsman migrated to Canada shortly after, thereby ending whatever chances he had of playing for Guyana and the West Indies senior teams.Incidentally, the West Indies Youth team also included former Guyana and West Indies batsman, Ramnaresh Sarwan, who stroked 102 in the first innings, batting at number six; former Guyana opener Azeemul Haniff who scored 100 in the second innings after 51 in the first; wicket-keeper Vishal Nagamootoo and leg-spinner Andy Chinsammy.Emanating from the Albion, Berbice family of cricketers, siblings Sewnarine went on to represent West Indies in four Tests and 18 One-Day Internationals and Ramnarine played at the regional one-day level for the Combined Campuses and Colleges, while Harrinarine captained the Guyana Under-15 team and also represented his homeland at the Under-19 level.The eldest of the Chattergoon brothers, Hemnarine never enjoyed the kind of success he was anticipating following his migration to Canada and, according to him, several factors were responsible for this, including work-related issues and the inability to put in enough practice. His only First Class match for Canada was against the United Arab Emirates at the Maple Leaf ground, King City, in 2007 which saw him scoring a mere 10 runs.In 2009, at the age of 31, Chattergoon was appointed to lead Vikings in the Elite division of the Toronto & District Association (T&DCA) tournament. The strong Vikings team included former Guyana and West Indies youth player, Zamal Khan; former Guyana captain, Damodar Daesrath; former Guyana First-Class pacer, Jeremy Gordon; former Guyana Under-19 left-arm pacer, Naresh Roopnarine; ex-Guyana and West Indies B team keeper, Kenneth Wong, and former National youth players, Abdel Fudadin and Kevin Murray. The side was also managed by another Guyanese in Michael Khan.Hemnarine (left) with brother Sewnarine as the former is presented with a plaque in recognition of his services to HACC by sponsor Vishal Mohan, nephew of president Narchand “Archie” Mohan.Chattergoon returned to the Canadian side for the inaugural Caribbean Twenty/20 tournament in the West Indies which saw the top performing domestic team qualifying for the Champions League Twenty/20 tournament. It was later replaced by the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), whose first season began in July 2013. Guyana were the eventual winners, defeating Barbados by one wicket with one ball to spare in a pulsating final with Jonhatan Foo claiming the man-of-the-match award.The tournament was also the first opportunity for Hemnarine to play alongside his brother, Sewnarine, who was part of the Guyana squad and who had already played Test cricket for the West Indies.The now 41-year-old Chattergoon also had the unique distinction of leading Hawaiian Arctic Cricket Club (HACC) to four of their six consecutive championship victories in the Premiere League of the Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) tournaments before retiring at the end of the 2016 season. He was fittingly honoured when the club held its annual presentation, dinner and dance at the end of the season.Long-standing president of HACC, Narchand ‘Archie’ Mohan, paid glowing tribute to Chattergoon for his outstanding contributions over the years as a batsman and an astute leader and, while acknowledging his decision to call it quits, reminded him that “the door is always open to him once he has a change of heart”.The stocky right-hander was rewarded with a plaque, compliments of Trophy Stall Guyana. It read: “For your outstanding dedication, commitment and contribution as a player and leader of Hawaiian Arctic Cricket Club”.In an invited comment, Chattergoon described his joining of HACC in 2010 as a “political move” after he was specially invited to the club’s presentation. He was subsequently named captain two years later.Reflecting on his decision to join HACC, Chattergoon disclosed that he had no regrets but insisted that he had played his last game when the 2016 inaugural Elite season ended, citing work and family commitments as his main reason.In the 2014 Premiere League semi-final, Chattergoon was at his imperious best, slamming a scintillating unbeaten 217 versus Bawa XI, leading from the front as HACC clobbered their opponents by 136 to reach the final, which they duly won.Chattergoon’s wife, Lena, and their lone daughter have been his most ardent and vocal supporters and are present at all of his games.While Chattergoon went on to play for Canada, he still fancies the century, at what is regarded as the mecca of cricket in the Caribbean, as his most memorable moment in the sunshine game. “I thoroughly enjoyed playing cricket but scoring a hundred for the West Indies Under-19 team, especially when we were asked to follow-on, is still fresh in my memory,” he asserted.Chattergoon, who still plies his trade mainly in the softball arena, and is regarded as one of the best players in the grassroot game, has won several accolades representing Dant and Sunshine in the Ontario Softball Cricket League and Our Own in the Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC), among other teams in and out of Toronto. His participation also includes international tournaments in Canada, Guyana, New York and Florida.
(This is the first in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. This is purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)J.T. REALMUTO, catcher, Miami MarlinsThe basics: Realmuto is the best all-around catcher in baseball. Next year will be his age 28 season. He’s a right-handed hitter.2018 season: He hit .277 with 21 home runs and an .825 OPS, both career highs.Contract status: Arbitration-eligible for two more years before free agency, set to make around $5 million to $6 million in 2019. Why he makes sense: Although José Briceño and Francisco Arcia did well in short stints last season, it’s unlikely the Angels view either as a No. 1 catcher. When Eppler was describing how he believes the Angels have internal options for most of their everyday spots, he conceded that catcher is a position at which they need to be “open-minded.” Realmuto can also play first base, so he could help share that spot with Albert Pujols, so the Angels could keep his bat in the lineup even when he’s not catching.The prospect cost for Realmuto would be steep, but it might still make sense. In November 2015, when the Angels were staring at a potential void at shortstop, Erick Aybar was coming into his final year and the Angels had no heir apparent. In that case, they simply paid the high prospect price for Andrelton Simmons. Eppler reasoned that shortstops of that caliber just don’t become available often, and it was worth the cost. You could say the same about Realmuto.It’s safe to guess that dealing for Realmuto would require two of the Angels’ top 10 prospects, and maybe even a third lesser prospect. There is probably room for a deal that wouldn’t include top prospect Jo Adell, though. If the Angels did get Realmuto, they probably would have depleted their prospect capital to the point that they couldn’t make any other major trades this winter.Why he doesn’t: Even for only two years, it’s possible the prospect cost for Realmuto would be exorbitant. There are other teams looking for catchers, and the market is thin. The top free agents are Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos. The Marlins also might choose to build around him, signing him to an extension.Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is a player the Angels could consider pursuing in the offseason, but the asking price is sure to be steep. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error