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Monday, October 7, 2013

Rusty Meacham, Not Afraid - 1266

Called into the ninth inning of this spring 1991 game, Rusty Meacham did what he needed to do.

He went out and pitched a perfect inning. He also impressed his manager, according to The Associated Press.

"I can tell by the way he pitches he ain't afraid of nobody," Anderson told The AP of Meacham. "He'll throw it up there and let you take your hacks."

Meacham impressed enough for Anderson and the Tigers to remember him later that year, getting his first call up to Detroit. He then impressed enough later to make the majors in a total of eight seasons.

Meacham's career began in 1987, taken by the Tigers in the 33rd round of the draft, out of Indian River Community College in Florida. He then signed the next May.

With the Tigers, Meacham started at rookie Bristol and single-A Fayetteville. He returned to Fayetteville and played at single-A Lakeland in 1989. He made AA London for 1990, then AAA Toledo to start 1991.

In late-June 1991, Meacham debuted with Detroit. He got into 10 games, starting four. For 1992, Meacham moved to the Royals. He also picked up 10 wins in 64 relief outings, with an ERA of 2.74.

That June, Meacham explained his mindset as a reliever to The Lawrence Journal-World.

"You've got to be a bit crazy," Meacham told The Journal-World. "Relievers - we come in at times with base runners on. I came up here and the first batter I faced was Jose Canseco. There's no room for mistakes."

Meacham ended up staying with the Royals through 1995, moving to the Mariners for 1996. He never matched that 64-outing performance from 1992, but did get 49 for the Royals in 1995.

Meacham got into 15 games for Seattle that year, then spent three seasons in the minors in five different systems. He then returned to the bigs for five games with the Astros in 2000 and 24 with the Devil Rays in 2001, ending his major league career.

Meacham then finished his playing career in independent ball, getting 16 starts for Yuma in 2005. He also has spent time coaching short-season Vermont.

Meacham has since gone on to run a youth baseball summer camp. Meacham told The Treasure Coast Newspapers that his goal is to get young players to play better, so they don't get hurt.

"I'm all about doing it the proper way," Meacham told the newspapers in 2012. "I want to teach these kids to do things the right way, ground ball after ground ball, fly ball after fly ball."
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,314
Made the Majors: 713 - 54.3%-X
Never Made Majors: 601-45.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 309-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 182

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