Darren Peter Fidge (Fidgey)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 202 lb.
Darren Fidge spent 23 years as a pitcher.
Fidge allowed one run in two innings for the Adelaide Giants in the 1989-1990 Australian Baseball League, debuting as a pro at age 15 in the league's first year. He was signed by Minnesota Twins scout Howard Norsetter in 1992, the 10th Australian ever signed by a MLB club (hundreds more would follow before his career ended). He was 3-4 with a save and a 4.74 ERA for the '92 GCL Twins. In the 1992-1993 ABL, Fidge was 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA for Adelaide. He was 1-8 the next summerr for the same club despite a 4.18 ERA. The tough-luck hurler tied Eric Anderson for the Gulf Coast League lead in losses. In the 1993-1994 ABL, the 20-year-old was 7-5 despite a 7.87 ERA for the Giants; only six hurlers in the league won more games. He did throw a one-hitter against the East Coast Cougars.
Moving to the bullpen with the '94 Elizabethton Twins, Fidge was superb, going 2-2 with 16 saves, a 0.69 ERA, a 0.74 WHIP and 43 K in 39 innings. He was second in the Appalachian League in saves (one behind Travis Welch) and tied Rafael Mesa for second in games pitched (29, one behind Welch). Despite playing in a short-season league, he was also second in the Twins chain in saves, trailing Gus Gandarillas. He was named the Appalachian League All-Star relief pitcher for that season. With the 1995 Fort Wayne Wizards, he posted a 6-5, 3.68 record with 13 saves. He tied [[Jason Rajotte] for 10th in the Midwest League in saves.
It was at that point that Fidge had his biggest setback. After taking off the 1995-1996 ABL season, he threw too hard in his return to the mound the next spring and blew out his shoulder. He had surgery and would never hit the 93-94 mph he was throwing to that point. He missed all of 1996. Returning in 1997, he was 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 8 games for Fort Wayne and 0-3 with a 6.34 ERA in 24 games for the Fort Myers Miracle. Minnesota let him go.
Returning to Australia for the first time in three seasons, he was 5-4 with a 6.86 ERA in 1997-1998. Signing with the independent Kalamazoo Kodiaks, he was 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 1998. He was 1-1 with a save and a 7.07 ERA in another rough winter with Adelaide in the 1998-1999 ABL, giving no sign he would still be active 15 years later. He was third in the Frontier League in ERA after Troy Harden and Jason Simontacchi. In the summer of 1999, he posted a 4-5, 5.21 record for the London Werewolves. 10 years after his ABL debut, he was 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA for South Australia club in the 1999-2000 International Baseball League of Australia.
Fidge was 0-2 with 16 saves and a 3.41 ERA for the 2000 Catskill Cougars. He was 4th in the Northern League East Division in saves. While successful, it would be his last summer in the US. He would spend his later summers back in Australia (there the winter) working in fitness. In 2000-2001, he was 0-3 with a 4.43 ERA in the IBLA. He was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA for the Australian national team in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, beating Russia in his lone start. In the 2002 Claxton Shield, he was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the South Australia team, finishing 4th in ERA and losing a tough semifinal battle. He helped Australia win the 2003 Oceania Championship.
Darren fell to a 8.82 ERA in the 2003 Claxton Shield, then was 1-0 with one run in 7 innings in 2004. In 2005, he was 0-1 with 6 runs in six innings. During 2006, he gave up 5 runs in 6 2/3 IP. In 2007, he was 0-1 with a save and a 8.10 ERA. That put his career Australian record at 23-27, 5.97 in 80 games. He had a save and a 2.19 ERA in the 2008 Claxton Shield, finishing 5th in ERA behind Tim Cox, Chris Mowday, Liam Hendriks and Tristan Crawford. In 2009, he had a 1-3, 4.22 record, tying Mowday and Phil Brassington for the loss record. At age 34, he also took the field regularly for the first and only time in his career, batting .229/.229/.343 in 11 games. In the 2009-2010 Claxton Shield, he was 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA, tying for the lead in losses again but also leading in complete games (2) and innings pitched (50).
When the ABL re-started in 2010-2011, he was 5-3 with a save and a 3.59 ERA for the Adelaide Bite: he may have been the only player to appear in the inaugural season of the original ABL and the revived ABL. He tied Dushan Ruzic, David Welch and Brandon Maurer for third in the league in wins. He had a 4-3, 4.77 season in 2011-2012, tying for 7th in victories. In 2012-2013, he struggled at 1-1, 6.26. He rebounded for the Bite in 2013-2014 to go 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA. The oldest Australian player in the 2014-2015 ABL at age 40 (South Korean Dae-sung Koo was 45), Fidge was 1-2 with a save and a 5.00 ERA before finally retiring, 25 seasons after he had begun.
Fidge is a coach for the Adelaide Bite in the 2015-2016 season.