Bob McClelland helped make FNC baseball game great

THE Legends of Far North Coast Baseball continues with Bob McClelland.

Bob Started his baseball career in 1964 at age 11.

His mother wanted him to get in to a sport and after driving around Lismore they came across a baseball game in progress on Rec 3.

However, his grandfather was not impressed, stating that "he had no time to play sport as he had to help on the farm."

Thankfully, Bob did not heed his grandfather's advice and pursued baseball, signing up with Workers to which he has suited up for 51 years and counting.

From an early age Bob represented FNC at State Championships and was a natural talent and was a regular in the Queensland state junior teams. At one of the Under- 16 National Championships in the late 1960s he put in a stellar pitching performance against Victoria resulting in the opposition coach congratulating him on a great game saying he deserved a call up to the Australian team, but this wasn't to be.

Bob moved into the senior ranks and continued to gain state representation with selection in the Queensland Claxton Shield team in 1981.

Trouble set in for Bob before the first game of the tournament when he threw his arm out.

To compensate for his arm troubles he developed a side arm throwing action which allowed him to still compete at the top level.

Bob has received many awards and accolades throughout his career with him receiving Life Membership in 1990 and Hall of Fame in 2014 for Workers Club.

On the field he has seen his fair share of awards including MVP, batting and RBI trophies, to name a few.

For FNC he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, received the Huckleberry Medal (MVP) in 1976 and the Moulder Mug (Most Consistent) in 1976, 1983 and 1986.

One of the most pleasurable aspects in all his years of baseball was when, in the early 1980s, with John McKee, Bill O'Sullivan and Rick Healy he started a tee ball competition.

The turnout was beyond their expectations and the overwhelming support led in turn to baseball flourishing for many years.

For FNC he was CEO in 1980 and heavily involved in the upgrade and rebuilding of the Albert Park complex.

Being an experienced coach Bob was selected as assistant coach for the Queensland under-16 team and in 1997 it was the icing on the cake when the Queensland took out the championship. This was followed up again in 1998 with another championship.

At 62 years young Bob continues to take the field for Workers in Division 1 as player-coach helping up and coming Workers juniors.

Baseball is fully entrenched in his family blood with his sons Scott and Michael also accomplished players and his two grandsons Seth and Cain being both standouts from a young age.

Bob's contribution not only to up-and-coming juniors but also the time devoted off the field has helped put FNC baseball where it is today.

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