BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Rick Healy, left, and Matt Riley after Easts Redbirds’ win in the Far North Coast Major League baseball grand final.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Rick Healy, left, and Matt Riley after Easts Redbirds’ win in the Far North Coast Major League baseball grand final. CONTRIBUTED

Huge contribution, on and off the field

RICK Healy began playing baseball by accident.

In 1961, at the age of 10, he would regularly walk past Rec 2 (now Crozier Field) in Lismore after his Saturday morning soccer game and stop to watch softball.

Reg Baxter asked him if he would like to play and from then on he would make a point of going to watch the softball after soccer hoping to be asked to play again.

That was his last year of soccer and he was hooked.

In 1965 he represented Far North Coast in the Under-15s, catching the state selectors' eyes and going on to represent Queensland at the national titles.

The following year he went a step further and was selected in the Australian Under-16 All Star Team.

He continued his representative appearances for FNC in the Under-18s and again was selected in the Queensland and Australian teams in that age division

Healy was named Lismore Junior Sportsman of the Year in 1968.

From 1966 to 1989 Healy represented FNC in the senior team, having plenty of success against opposition from across Queensland and NSW.

In 1990 he was selected in the Queensland team for the Claxton Shield (national tournament) in Adelaide.

While still playing Healy turned to coaching and led FNC from 1973 to the mid-1990s.

In 1981 he was Queensland assistant coach for the Claxton Shield and a selector for FNC, Queensland and national junior teams, along with being the tournament director for the Australian High Schools baseball championships.

He was tournament director for the Asian titles in 1994-95 and for the Australian Under-16 titles

Healy was head coach of the FNC Under-14 and Under-16 teams (1992to 1996) and was asked to coach the Queensland Under-14s in 1992-93 and the Under-16s in 1994.

He also had two years (1988-89) as head coach for the Queensland Country team at the national titles

Along with all his on-field success he also contributed in administration.

From 1970 to 1973 he was secretary of the FNC Baseball Association and was CEO of FNC Baseball for many years.

He was awarded life membership of FNC Baseball in 2013.

Healy remains active in the sport, assisting in the coaching of the Easts Major League team in recent years.

His contribution on and off the field for 50 years has been immeasurable.

He has helped many young baseballers during that time and played his part in the development of the great facilities at Albert Park.



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