Southern Illinois Miners
|Southern Illinois Miners|
|League||Frontier League (West)|
|Ballpark||Rent One Park|
|League championships||1 (2012)|
|Division championships||2 (2010, 2014)|
|Former name(s)||Southern Illinois Miners (2007-present)|
|Colors||Black, Silver, White, Gold
|General Manager||AJ Epstein|
|Media||WHET 97.7 FM, Marion Daily Republican, The Southern Illinoisan|
The Southern Illinois Miners are a professional baseball team based in Marion, Illinois. The Miners are a member of the East Division of the independent Frontier League. Since 2007, the Miners have played their home games at Rent One Park.
The "Miners" name refers to the Southern Illinois region's history of coal mining.
The city of Marion has not hosted any professional baseball team since the departure of the Marion Indians after the 1948 season. The Indians played for only two seasons in the class D Illinois State League.
John Simmons, an Illinois lawyer, proposed the Marion ballpark originally for an affiliated professional minor league baseball team, but that request was rejected by the Midwest League. However, Simmons remained interested in bringing professional baseball to Marion, so he petitioned several independent leagues for membership. In August 2006, Marion was officially announced as an expansion franchise of the Frontier League, to begin play in 2007. The region's close proximity near existing teams made Southern Illinois a natural fit for the Frontier League.
The team set a new Frontier League attendance record in 2007 by hosting 259,392 fans (the prior record was 217,500 set by the Gateway Grizzlies in 2004). The Miners also became the first team in Frontier League history to average over 5,000 fans per game for a season (5,086). Southern Illinois Miners fans also contributed heavily to supporting their lead mascot Big John to become the record-setting overall winner of the Best Logo in Minor League Baseball, awarded April 2, 2008 by CNBC following their largest online poll ever.
The Miners games are broadcast on five Withers radio stations as part of the Southern Illinois Miners Radio Network. The flagship station is 97.7 WHET-FM in Marion. The Miners radio broadcaster and media relations director is Jason Guerette. The Miners won their first Frontier League Championship in 2012.
The 2010 Season was historic season for the Southern Illinois Miners as they set a Frontier League record with a 20-game winning streak and tied for the second most wins in a single season at 64. That season, they also claimed their first ever West Division title and made their second playoff appearance.
- WSIL TV • "Southern Illinois Miners"
- Indians and Miners: history of Marion baseball
- Miners join Frontier League
- "Minor League Baseball Logo Winner: Miners Pull Out Victory!!". CNBC, April 2, 2008.