Torbert overwhelming choice as top DH
SIOUX FALLS – Taking 94 percent of a fan vote, Beau Torbert was the clear choice as the top designated hitter in the Sioux Falls Pheasants’ 20-year history.
Torbert was chosen ahead of two other nominees, Kevin Garner (1995, 1998) and Will Smith (2007-2008). Fans cast their choice at the Pheasants' new website, www.sfpheasants.com.
Torbert was announced the winner and the newest member of the 20th-Anniversary Team in Thursday night’s series opener against the Lincoln Saltdogs, coinciding with Torbert’s return to Sioux Falls Stadium for the first time since 2010. Torbert is now the hitting coach for Lincoln.
Fans welcomed Torbert with warm applause, along with a video presentation before the game. Torbert then threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Torbert is one of the most prolific hitters in team history. The two-time American Association Player of the Year ranks first in career average (.358), second in home runs (55) and second in RBIs (231).
In 2010, Torbert posted one of the best offensive outputs in the history of the league. He won the batting title with a .394 batting average, a team record and a league record at the time. He finished second in the league with 24 home runs, and his 100 RBI was tops in the league and a new team record. Torbert amassed 155 hits for the season, breaking the previous league record (148) and team record (136) for a single season. He collected 51 multi-hit games during the year, including seven four-hit games. Torbert also set a team record for doubles in a season (38) and a league record for total bases in one season (269). For his outstanding output, Torbert earned independent baseball’s highest prize in 2010, Baseball America’s Independent Player of the Year.
Torbert also won Player of the Year honors in 2008, leading the Canaries to their only championship.
Nominees for the 20th Anniversary Team were determined by a select group of organization members and Sioux Falls media personnel who have long observed the club.
Torbert joins starting pitchers Ryan Ford and Ben Moore and relief pitchers Aaron Cotter and Kris Regas on the team.
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.