Marion, IL – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that Nolan Earley will return to the club for the 2020 season, further solidifying a veteran hitting corps for the upcoming year.
Earley will enter his fourth season with the Miners, having previously been their every-day right fielder from 2016-18. In those three seasons, the Anderson, Indiana native batted .278 in 286 games (missing only two contests total), and amassed 283 hits, 64 doubles, 33 home runs, 158 RBIs, and 146 runs scored, along with nearly as many walks (153) as strikeouts (163). In his debut season with the club, he set career-highs in batting average (.291), runs scored (53), hits (103), and RBIs (70) while helping the Miners to their most-recent division championship and playoff berth. Two years later, he set career benchmarks in doubles (a Miners team-record 28), walks (57), and home runs (13) as he continued to be an every-game fixture in the lineup.
The 28-year old spent last season with the Milwaukee Milkmen in the American Association, clubbing 12 doubles and seven homers with 27 RBIs in 75 games.
“I’m excited to come back and play for the Southern Illinois Miners,” Earley said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of a great team and an even greater community this season. My goal is to help contribute as much as I can to try and bring a championship back to Southern Illinois.”
Earley, who is one half of the only sibling tandem in Miners history along with his older brother Michael (2015), will also enter 2020 as the Miners’ all-time leader in career walks. In addition, he ranks second in franchise history in games played, tied for second in doubles, third in home runs, fourth in hits and RBIs, and fifth in runs scored.
“Nolan is as reliable a player to have worn the Miners uniform,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He starts the season ready to play, and is consistent with his daily performance both offensively and defensively. Nolan had played an excellent right field for us for three seasons while delivering quality at-bats with some power thrown in. We are so glad to gave him back with us this season.”
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 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 their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.