The Southern Illinois Miners know how to draw a crowd


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

MARION, Ill. - The Southern Illinois Miners have always had a knack for drawing a big crowd, and officials say this year will be no different. 

They have just started their 7th season and for years they had some of the best attendance numbers in the league.

"Right off the bat, the Southern Illinois Miners really made an impact in the Frontier League and even in the area leading the league in attendance," said Miners Media Relations Director Mike Ventola.

Ventola says three of the teams have had the best attendance record overall, and this is no small league, either.

"We go as far west as Fallon, Missouri, to as far east as Washington, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburg, so it's a wide range," said Ventola.

The games bring in people from all over the area.

It is good for the Miners, and it is good for local business.

Fans cannot survive on peanuts and beer alone.  They also need barbecue!

17th Street Barbecue server Tyler Schemonia says he looks forward to the season every year.

"They come in before the games and after the games. So it really picks up our business a lot," said Schemonia.

Ventola says the impressive numbers are due to fan interaction.

Like every successful business, they are connected.

"Tweeting back and forth with our fans, Facebooking back and forth with our fans," said Ventola.

Whether it is fireworks or ring ceremonies, Ventola says the Miners bring something extra to every home game.

"We do a great job each and every day when we do have home games to make sure we have something for our fans to be entertained with," said Ventola.

There are 3,500 seats to fill and Ventola says he is expecting standing room only.

If you are a fan of both baseball and barbecue, you can combine your two loves!

On May 20th at 6 pm, 17th Street Barbecue will be hosting the Southern Illinois Miners.

Anyone is welcome to enjoy some barbecue with the team