GARY, IN. 1-10-2011 – Former Gary SouthShore RailCats ace Willie Glen has once again returned to the Florida Marlins minor league system, this time as Pitching Coach for the Low A Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League, joining the staff of former RailCats Hitting Coach Andy Haines.
Glen, 32, effectively announced his retirement from professional baseball by accepting the Pitching Coach position with the Grasshoppers. Glen is the RailCats career leader in nearly every measurable pitching category and is an amazing 43-11 with a 3.03 ERA in 88 career RailCats games. Fifth in Northern League history with 494 strikeouts in his four seasons, Glen has allowed only 467 Northern League hits in nearly 550 innings with the RailCats. Glen is the only pitcher in the history of the Northern League to be named Pitcher of the Year Award more than once, effectively defending his 2007 title this past season when he returned to the RailCats after two years pitching for the Marlins in Double-A and Triple-A.
“It’s been my pleasure to be associated with the Willie Glen over the last six years,” said RailCats Manager Greg Tagert. “I’m very proud to say he was on our team. He is the greatest pitcher in modern Northern League history and we will all have the memory of Game 5 in 2007 etched in our minds forever as the single greatest performance the league had ever seen.”
In his first tour with the RailCats, Glen pitched in parts of three seasons (2005-07) and was a relentless force in the starting rotation, making a whopping 66 starts in his three year RailCats career. And as reliable as Glen was, he was at times even more dominant – going an unfathomable 16-1 in 2007 (including the playoffs) and shattering the Northern League’s single-season strikeout record in the regular season by piling up 162 whiffs in 139.2 innings. That sensational 2007 earned Glen mountains of awards, including First Team Baseball America All-Independent Leagues honors, the Northern League Pitcher of the Year award, the Northern League Championship Series MVP and – following the season – a shot back in affiliated baseball with the Marlins.
“Most players are defined by how far they advance in affiliated baseball, but there is so much more that defines Willie,” Tagert added. “It starts with his character and the way he lives his life. He is a role model for others and exemplifies everything an organization desires in an athlete. I have no doubt he will be just as successful in his coaching career.”
Glen returned to Northwest Indiana this summer to post the lowest ERA of his career (2.39) and second lowest of any RailCats player ever posting an 11-2 record en route to winning Northern League Pitcher of the Year. Glen tied for the league lead in wins with 11 and had the best ERA among Northern League starting pitchers while finishing with the third best strikeout total. The RailCats righty collected numerous other accolades for his 2010 performance including: Northern League Post-Season All-Star, Northern League Mid-Season All-Star, Northern League Pitcher of the Month (July) and Northern League Pitcher of the Week (June 27, July 25).
Undrafted out of the University of Evansville, Glen signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 and is 74-45 as a professional in more than 1,100 career innings. Glen has spent time in five different affiliated organizations, including at the Triple-A level in 2004, 2008 and 2009.