Through injuries, the death of his father, Clemson outfielder is ready to lead Tigers
In his three years at Clemson Kier Meredith has experienced injuries, success and personal tragedy.
Meredith entered his freshman season with a nagging injury from high school and watched most of his first two seasons from the dugout because of a shoulder and leg injuries. Then, in August of 2019, his dad Tracey Meredith passed away after nearly a decade long battle with kidney disease.
Kier Meredith remembers when his dad taught him to play baseball when he was just three years old. Playing at the highest level is not a personal ambition for the redshirt junior, but it was a shared dream between a son and his father.
“Baseball was our thing growing up. I started playing when I was three years old and he taught me everything I know,” the outfielder said. “I was nineteen when he passed and baseball was our thing and what connected us on a super deep level.”
After injuries kept Meredith off the field for the majority of the 2019 season, he questioned if it was time to hang up the cleats and move on from the game his father loved so much. But the loss of his father gave him a new perspective and motivation to keep pushing forward.
“He wasn’t doing everything for me to pay him back in the future, but I felt the obligation to go out and finish what we started when I was three years old,” Meredith said. “Playing baseball professionally and at the highest level wasn’t my dream, it was our dream and it really put a new fire in me and shot me forward to 2020.”
Meredith returned to the field in the spring of 2020 and quickly became the team leader in batting average, hits, bunt singles (3), total bases (30) and hit-by-pitches as well tied for the team lead in games, starts, sacrifice bunts (1) and steals.
The North Carolina native hit .364 with nine runs, three doubles, a home run, five RBIs, a .455 slugging percentage, .455 on-base percentage, six walks, five hit-by-pitches and three steals in 17 starts before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short. He also earned a share of the Mitchell Award given to the team MVP for the 2020 season.
These days, the junior feels like he is in a good spot to continue what he started last season as the Tigers begin spring practice on Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
“I have obviously dealt with a lot a bunch of downs and I feel like I’m in a good position to deal with that because you are going to fail a lot in baseball,” Meredith said. “It’s really helped me strengthen my mental game and really appreciate the game.”
Clemson takes the field for opening weekend on Feb. 19 when it hosts Cincinnati in a three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.