Miners To Retire Ryan Bird’s Number 13
Southern Illinois’ all-time leader in wins, Ks to receive honor June 27th in pregame ceremony
Marion, Ill. (June 1, 2015) – The Southern Illinois Miners are proud to announce that on Saturday, June 27th in a pregame ceremony, they will retire the number 13 for pitcher Ryan Bird before the Miners face the Washington Wild Things at 6:05 p.m. He is the second Miner to have his number retired, after former Frontier League MVP Joey Metropoulos, whose #31 was retired by the team in 2014.
A right-handed pitcher from Potomac, Illinois, Bird came to the Miners after one season in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2008 and proceeded to dominate the Frontier League. His 2008 season still ranks as the best ever for a starter in Miners history, as he went 13-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings. He led the league in wins and strikeouts that season, winning Frontier League Pitcher of the Year honors and setting single-season Miners records in wins and strikeouts that still stand to this day.
Bird went on to pitch two more seasons in Southern Illinois in 2009 and 2010, amassing 28 wins and a 2.96 career ERA with 308 strikeouts in 289 innings. He is still the Miners’ all-time leader in wins and strikeouts, while ranking second in innings pitched. He also won a remarkable 17 consecutive decisions for the Miners from 2008-09, a streak that also remains a Frontier League record.
“Ryan is one of the toughest competitors to ever put on a Miners uniform,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “All great pitchers have a different gear, and Ryan was one of those. Off the mound, on non-game days, he was one of the nicest guys we’ve ever had. On game day, there were no conversations, no banter. He pitched with a vengeance, a competitive fire- almost a mean streak. Yet the moment he was out of the game, he went back to being the Ryan we knew on every other day. He was truly one of a kind.”
“It’s just a complete honor,” Bird said. “It’s something I’ll get to keep for the rest of my life. I really can’t believe that it’s happening- when Mike told me about (my number being retired), all I could say is ‘thank you’ and how honored I am. It’s really amazing.”
The Southern Illinois Miners are the 2014 Frontier League East Division Champions and the 2012 Frontier League Champions. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in 2007, their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the Rent One Park box office at 618-998-8499. For any additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.