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May 1—GREENSBURG — In his first season as pitching coach for his former school, Alex Meyer said it's been a fun learning experience for him and Greensburg's players.
"They're teaching me a lot and I'm hoping I'm teaching them a lot. So it's been fun," Meyer said.
Having a former Major League Baseball pitcher in your dugout is something not many high school teams can say they have.
Greensburg recognized the 2008 Indiana Mr. Baseball, who pitched for the Pirates all four years of his high school career. A picture with many of his achievements is affixed to the press box, and the Pirates took time before Tuesday's game against North Decatur to honor Meyer.
It was totally unexpected, said Meyer, who thanked GCHS athletic administrators Stacy Meyer and June Rigney for doing it.
"It was pretty cool to see a picture of yourself up on the scoreboard of the school you used to play at," Meyer said. "I never in my wildest dreams thought that would be the case. It was a pretty special moment for me and my family, and I'm extremely thankful for the high school doing something like that."
Meyer was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft. He pitched three years in the majors from 2015-2017 for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels.
The 6-foot-9 fireballer recorded a seven-inning one-hit shutout in his final game, when he pitched against the team that drafted him, the Washington Nationals.
Injuries cut his career short and he retired age 29.
Meyer was slated to help coach the Pirates last year, but the season was canceled because of the pandemic.
GCHS head coach Scott Holdsworth said Meyer has been an outstanding ambassador for the program.
"We love having him back in the community," Holdsworth said. "He's doing a great job with our guys on the mound. He manages our bullpen, talks to the pitchers a lot, gives them really good insight on things. Obviously, we knew coming into this year we'd have some question marks. I feel like he's done a really good job with those guys, getting them in the position to continue to grow and improve as we move through the season."
The Pirates are 4-8, but they've got 10 regular season games on the schedule before the postseason.
"We're struggling a little bit, but our kids are competing and getting better," Meyer said. "I'm definitely enjoying the challenge that's come with it. Hopefully we make some good strides here at the end of the year and turn it on before the start of sectionals."
Andy Scheidler may be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.