Professional softball player Megan Wiggins still remembers the moment she was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
“To be able to be on stage and get inducted with the other athletes and coaches that year was pretty special,” Wiggins said. “It was surreal, honestly. I invited my old travel-ball coach, my old basketball coach, my college coaches and people that along the way helped me become the player I am today.”
Even after 12 seasons of professional play, she hasn’t forgotten her roots.
“Gwinnett County is one of the biggest counties in the state of Georgia, so being able to represent Gwinnett County is really something special,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins graduated from Shiloh High School and was named the 2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Player of the Year during her senior season for posting a .486 batting average and 20 RBIs.
After her storied high school career, Wiggins played for the University of Georgia. As a Bulldog, Wiggins posted a .370 career batting average that placed her eighth in program history with 46 home runs and led Georgia to back-to-back Women’s College World Series appearances.
Although it has been over 11 years since she last donned the red and black, Megan Wiggins still credits the longevity of her playing career to her time in Athens.
“There are so many things that I learned from coach (Lu) Harris-Champer and being at the University of Georgia that have allowed me to be successful at the pro level and has allowed me to continue to have a long career at the pro level and now be able to teach young athletes and other people,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins was drafted by the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch in 2011 and played there for four years until she was traded to the USSSA Pride, where she played until the NPF’s last season in 2019. She was honored as the 2013 NPF Player of the Year and was the NPF home run leader three times in her career.
With the NPF disbanding after having two seasons canceled because of COVID-19, many professional softball players were left wondering where they could continue playing. A new professional softball league called Athletes Unlimited was birthed in 2020 and invited Wiggins and many others to play in their inaugural season.
Now having over a decade of experience under her belt, she has shifted her focus from solely being a top competitor to being an advocate for the players who will come after her.
“The more we can help educate and get professional softball known, the more you are going to create a desire for these younger athletes to play at the next level after college and letting them know that it is even an option,” Wiggins said. “I think for me, that is one of the most important things that I want to help with and try to impact is the fact that pro softball is here, and it is here to stay.”
Earlier this year, she was announced as the owner of one of the Florida Gulf Coast League’s newest teams, The Peaches, named in honor of her home state. In this role, she aims to use her platform to create more opportunities for collegiate players to grow on the field in this summer league.
At 33 years old, Wiggins still is nowhere near the end of her career. She will be back on the field in Rosemont, Illinois, for season three of Athletes Unlimited starting July 29.
“If I am going to do it, I’m going to freaking do it,” Wiggins said. “I think for athletes sometimes when they decide to retire, then that’s what starts to fade away. So, for me I know I’m still ready to play because I know how competitive I still am, and I know how important it is for me to be ready when we go out onto the field.”