Locals honoured by Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame
Charlie Meacher's second home is at the ball park.
© submitted photo
Charlie Meacher, second from left, pictured with his wife Louise, received the Baseball Canada and Major League Baseball Volunteer of the Year Award at the Baseball Canada Fall Convention in Halifax last year.
Despite his years spent volunteering, he still wasn't sure he belonged Saturday when he was enshrined into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Meacher was one of 13 members of the 2014 class of the Hall of Fame which is located in Battlefords. He was joined by Brian Keegan who was born and raised in Moose Jaw and went on to also play in Swift Current.
"It's very humbling to go there and hear the other things people have done that they're getting inducted for," said Meacher. "I think they had the guy with the most impressive resumé and inducted him first. The rest of us were sort of looking at each other and thinking 'what are we doing here? How do we follow this?' Then you stand there and they go through a list of accomplishments and I thought 'yeah I guess I did do those things. I think I did OK.'"
Meacher began coaching in the Moose Jaw Little League in 1985 and from 1988-93, he coached both of his sons on separate teams.
He was on the Moose Jaw Little League board of directors from 1988-2003 in a variety of capacities. He served as the vice-president, groundskeeper, maintenance man and scheduler for Ross Well Park starting in 1995 and continues to do so today.
He also helped coach the midget AAA Cardinals from 1995-2011 and was an assistant coach with Team Saskatchewan at the Baseball Canada Cup in 2003, ’05 and ’06.
Meacher joined the Saskatchewan Baseball board in 1997 and is still presently the zone director. As part of the board, he has been on the high performance committee since 1998, was the zone governor in 2000 and midget supervisor in 2001 and he has been the junior supervisor since 2002.
His work as a volunteer won him Baseball Canada's MLB volunteer of the year in 2013.
"You get 12 people and you learn the different things they've done to get there and you appreciate the rich history of baseball in Saskatchewan," said Meacher. "They do a lovely job with the whole thing. It's a really nice weekend. It was wonderful."
Meacher said he appreciated the warm welcome from some previous inductees that he knew and the response from some of his former players has also been humbling.
"(My son) posted it on Facebook and all of the players from the past — and some of them who are a long ways past — posted some nice things on Facebook," he added.
Keegan was inducted as a player and a builder. He won provincial championships with Moose Jaw's juvenile and junior teams in the 1960s. He moved up to play with the Moose Jaw Regals in the Saskatchewan Southern League in 1963. He would play with them until 1967 and then come back for one more season in 1970.
Keegan was the SSL's first team all-star first baseman from 1965-67 and a first team all-star outfield in 1970.
He moved to Swift Current and played with the Indians in '68 and '69 and then from 1971-75.
Keegan was instrumental in helping form the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League — the fore-runner to the Western Major Baseball League.
Keegan now lives in White Rock, B.C.
The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame continues to grow and improve.
Since the last time I was there they've done a lot of work to it," said Meacher. "It's just a cool place to go because the history goes way back. They have a Satchel Paige signed baseball and a picture of him playing in Battlefords."
The museum is looking to start holding an annual vintage baseball game played under the rules from 1879. The game would mark the first baseball game played in the province in 1879, before it even was a province. The museum is also hoping to construct the biggest baseball bat in Canada to display outside of the museum. It would measure 55 feet long and five feet in diameter.