Adrian Meagher: Great pitcher a FNC legend
THE sixth and final instalment of the Far North Coast Baseball Legends series concludes with Adrian Meagher.
Meagher was classed as the top pitcher, not only in FNC Baseball but Australia for many years.
He started softball at the age of nine and baseball was the natural progression. He was heavily influenced by his father, Adrian senior, who was a Queensland representative and an excellent coach in the 1950s and 60s.
Meagher spent the majority of his baseball career playing for Lismore Workers Club but also had some brief stints with Norths, Easts and Brothers.
He showed his talent early in his life when, at the age of 12, he gained selection in the Queensland under-13 team and then went further with a call-up to the Australian team in that age group.
He continued to shine in the junior ranks, gaining selection in Queensland state teams - mainly as a pitcher and third baseman.
In the first international game at Lismore in February 1979, 20-year-old Meagher and fellow FNC player Peter Gahan were selected in the Australian team as pitchers to face Japan.
In November 1979, Meagher and Gahan were again selected to play in an international, this time against Korea.
In the same year Meagher was clocked at 150kmh - 92mph - at the Queensland Championships, giving him the distinction as the fastest pitcher in Queensland.
His pitching ability, which included a mean curveball and change-up, saw Meagher classed as the best pitcher in Australia for a number of years.
At 23 years of age, Meagher was again selected in the Australian team for the 1982 Amateur World Series.
He caught the eye of the Los Angeles Dodgers scout and made his debut with the minor league team, Lethbridge Dodgers, the same year.
Meagher moved up into AA with the San Antonio Dodgers in 1985 and held an impressive eight wins, five losses record, striking out 76 batters in 88 innings.
In 1986 he was a step away from becoming the first Australian major league player to debut in the 20th century.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be and consequently he moved to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1988 but was released later that year for his last appearance in the United States.
When the Australian Baseball League was formed in 1989-1991, Meagher was player-manager of the Gold Coast Clippers and steered the team to a 16-21 record.