Far North Coast Baseball Association is based out of Albert Park in Lismore, in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales.
In 1937, Laurie Thew, an aspiring right-handed pitcher from Sydney moved to Lismore and began efforts to establish baseball in the city. On 11 May 1937 a public notice was published in The Northern Star inviting interest in the formation of a ‘Baseball Club’, with the initial meeting taking place on Thursday 13 May 1937. Soon there were enough players for two teams and within weeks challenges were issued and representative games against Queensland based teams were being held. The first representative baseball game ever held in Lismore took place on Saturday 31 July 1937, Queensland vs Lismore, with the visitors winning 7-1 on the back of some brilliant pitching. The advent of World War 2 led to a hiatus and it was not until 1947 when Thew again proved the catalyst – calling a meeting to re-establish the league. Thew is now recognised as the “Father of Baseball” on the Far North Coast.
Initially the FNCBA played on cricket grounds during the winter and as the league grew this caused pressure on the city to find a dedicated space for the sport. Since 1965 FNCBA has used dedicated fields at the Albert Park sporting complex in Lismore, with the main diamond now known as Baxter Field.
Currently there are teams from clubs based in Ballina, Casino and several clubs (Easts, Marist Brothers, Norths and Workers) from Lismore. In the past there have also been clubs from Alstonville and Kyogle.
The Association has produced numerous Australian (men’s and women’s) representatives including Barry Wappett*, Barry Pratt, Ray, Mark and Mat Buckley*, Harold Crozier, Matt Gahan, Peter Gahan, Matt Gates, Adrian Meagher*, Michael Nind*, Karina Connors and James Linger. Those marked with an asterisk (*) represented Australia at the Olympics. The area remains one of the strongest centres for Baseball in Australia.