Steve Shirley is coming back to Sioux Falls to manage the Pheasants next summer.

"I'm very excited to be a part of this organization for years to come," Shirley said. "I love the city of Sioux Falls and its people. I'm looking forward to working as hard as we can to bring a championship back to Sioux Falls."

Shirley has displayed a knack for recruiting high-caliber talent to Sioux Falls. Under his tutelage, several players have received notable accolades. Along with 14 postseason all-stars, Shirley's rosters have produced a two-time Player of the Year and a two-time Pitcher of the Year. He has inked five former big-leaguers and sold 10 player contracts to major league organizations. One former player, Eddy Rodriguez, reached the big league level this year with San Diego after playing in Sioux Falls (2010).

As a former left-handed reliever, Shirley brings major-league playing experience to Sioux Falls. He was a second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974 and appeared in 11 games for the Dodgers in 1982, going 1-1 record with a 4.36 ERA. During 15 seasons playing professional baseball, Shirley also had stints with the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations. He also played professionally overseas in Japan and South America.

Shirley, who agreed to the multi-year deal,  has the  most wins in Sioux Falls Pheasants history as manager with 303 wins, told the Winnipeg Free Press this summer:

  • "When you add up numbers like that, it has to do with longevity, but it takes good teams to win all those games, and I appreciate all the players that have come through and worked so hard for me to go about winning any games."

It will be his 7th year with Sioux Falls, he said the chance to mentor young players has him hooked as a manager in independent baseball.

  • "I get to work with these young men and hopefully walk up to them one day and shake their hands and say, 'Look, St. Louis Cardinals or New York Yankees or whoever called and they're going to pick up your contract.' "