Richard Barrie Vagg
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 148 lb.
Infielder Richard Vagg was a top infielder in the Australian Baseball League's first incarnation. His father Barrie was a star in the Australian Football League (known as the Victoria Football League in those days).
Vagg debuted with the Melbourne Monarchs in the first ABL season, 1989-1990, hitting .357/.429/.552 with 16 steals and 42 runs in 35 games. He was 5th in the league in average, tied for first in extra-base hits (with 18), second in runs (4 behind Ron Carothers) and second in steals. He made the league All-Star team as the second-string shortstop behind Matthew Sheldon-Collins.
In 1990-1991, Richard faded to .288/.343/.424 for the Melbourne Bushrangers. He again was second-team at shortstop, behind Billy White. The next winter, he produced at a .358/.427/.547 clip with 31 runs and 27 RBI in 45 contests for the Bushrangers. He played for Australia in the 1991 Asian Championship. He tied Peter Hartas for the 1991-1992 ABL lead in hits (57) and was second in average, 11 points behind Paul Gorman. This time, he was named the first-team All-Star shortstop.
With the Monarchs once more in 1992-1993, he hit .280/.322/.354 and stole 12 bases in 14 tries. He was with the Aussies in the 1993 Asian Championship. He went 5 for 22 with 4 walks, a double, 3 runs and 4 RBI in eight games for Australia in the 1993 Intercontinental Cup. He missed most of 1993-1994 with injuries, going 8 for 25 with 3 walks, a double, homer and steal. In the 1994 Baseball World Cup, he put on a show as the shortstop for the Australian national team, hitting .483/.500/.759 with 5 runs and 10 RBI in 7 games, though he also made 4 errors and fielded .902. He was 4th in the event in average behind Ermidelio Urrutia, Dagoberto Lopez and Omar Linares. He was not named the All-Star shortstop, an honor which went to Cuban legend Germán Mesa).
Back in his homeland, Richard continued to prove his recovery from injury, batting .296/.384/.461 with 39 runs in 64 games in 1994-1995, though he was neither an All-Star nor among the league's top 5 in anything except at-bats (206). In 1995-1996, he hit .308/.384/.372 for Melbourne, with 30 runs and 30 RBI in 47 contests; around this time, he was starting to move to first base due to shoulder problems.
He represented Australia for the last time in the 1996 Olympics, going 1-for-5 in 3 games, backing up Jason Hewitt and Mark Doubleday at 3B. In 1996-1997, Vagg had his last big year, producing at a .313/.387/.488 clip with 32 runs in 49 games for the Monarchs. He ended his career with a .265/.344/.410 campaign in 1997-1998.
Overall, Vagg had hit .309/.403/.453 in 366 ABL games, with 235 runs, 198 RBI, 72 doubles, 20 triples, 23 home runs and 67 steals in 89 tries. When the ABL ended its initial run in 1999, Vagg stood among the all-time league leaders in average (12th, between Adam Burton and Ron Johnson), games played (tied for 15th), at-bats (10th, 1,059), runs (10th), hits (389, 8th between Clayton Byrne and Peter Vogler), RBI (tied for 16th with Greg Jelks), doubles (9th, between David Buckthorpe and Vogler), triples (1st, 6 ahead of runners-up Hewitt and Steve Hinton), total bases (10th, 570), OBP (12th), walks (tied for 12th, 145), steals (8th), caught stealing (9th) and steal percentage (12th).
- Defunct IBAF site
- Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac