Fans choose Ford, Moore as top starters
SIOUX FALLS – The fans have spoken, and the first members of the Sioux Falls Pheasants 20th-Anniversary Team have been selected. Pheasants fans voted Ryan Ford and Ben Moore as the top two starting pitchers in team history, the team announced Thursday on Opening Night.
Fans chose from five nominees that also included Rich Hyde, Pat Mahomes and Jamie Ybarra. Nearly 51 percent of voters selected Ford, and 44 percent chose Moore.
Ford (2007-2009) is probably best remembered for anchoring the starting rotation in 2008 en route to a league championship. He set a single-season franchise record with 13 wins against just six losses with a 2.77 ERA. This followed a 7-5 mark set in 2007 with a 3.54 ERA. In three seasons, the southpaw went 23-21 with a 3.82 ERA. Ford is fourth in team career wins and fifth in strikeouts (199).
Moore (2008-2011) is one of the most decorated pitchers in team history. He was named American Association Pitcher of the Year for two consecutive years (2010 and 2011). While averaging 20 starts in each of his four seasons, he posted 10 or more wins in three separate campaigns and struck out 100 or more batters in all four seasons. He set single-season league records for strikeouts in 2010 (126) and 2011(144). Moore ranks second in team history for wins (39), complete games (9), innings pitched (529 2/3) and strikeouts (477). In 2011, Moore notched a 13-win season, tied for most in team history, and he tied a team record with 14 strikeouts in one game. Moore was a member of the 2008 championship squad and the 2010 runner-up team.
Fans will next cast their votes for their choices for the top two relievers through an online poll at the at the Pheasants’ new website, www.sfpheasants.com. The results will be announced on Thursday, May 24, when the Pheasants host the St. Paul Saints.
Nominees were determined by a select group of organization members and Sioux Falls media personnel who have long observed the club.
The 20th-Anniversary Team will consist of two starting pitchers, two relief pitchers, one catcher, a representative from each infield position, three outfielders and a designated hitter. In addition, fans can vote for a manager.
More nominees and voting will occur throughout the season.
The Sioux Falls Pheasants are in their 20th season of independent professional baseball. Information about season tickets and group outings is available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting www.sfpheasants.com.