Former DSU baseball players honored with retired jerseys

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Three jerseys hang on the fence in left center at Bruce Hurst Field, immortalized in Dixie State University baseball history.

Each jersey has an assigned number, a number that will never again be worn by a DSU baseball player. These retired numbers are the numbers nine, 25 and three, belonging to DSU alumni Brandon Lyon, Brad Thompson and Brandon Kintzler.

Lyon, Thompson and Kintzler all are right-handed pitchers who played for DSU when it was a junior college and went on to have careers in Major League Baseball. Their legacies and accomplishments at DSU led to them being able to say their numbers will never be worn again.

No. 9 Lyon

Lyon pitched for DSU for two seasons (1999-2000). Lyon went to Taylorsville high school and was drafted out of high school in the 37th round of the 1997 MLB draft by the New York Mets but opted to come play college ball at DSU before pursing life in the major leagues. Lyon had a win-loss record of 24-3 in 29 appearances, totaling 193 innings with only a 1.59 earned run average during his two seasons at DSU. 

Lyon was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 14th round of the 1999 MLB draft. Throughout his 12-year career in the majors, he played for seven different organizations, ending with a 42-47 record and a 4.16 ERA in 572 games and 681.1 innings pitched, most of them as a relief pitcher. Lyon pitched last in the MLB in 2013 and currently lives in St. George.

No. 25 Thompson

Thompson is from Las Vegas and most recently played for DSU back in 2002 before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 16th round of the 2002    draft. Thompson went on to play for five years with the Cardinals before finishing his major league career with the Kansas City Royals in 2010. He pitched in 405.1 innings in the majors, ending with a even 21-21 record, an ERA of 4.46 and 201 appearances. According to his Twitter account, Thompson is currently a radio co-host of The Fast Lane in St. Louis with the local ESPN Radio station 101 ESPN.

No. 3 Kintzler

Kintzler is also from Las Vegas and was a member of the DSU team that won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 2004. Kintzler was 9-1 during that year on 13 appearances, finishing with 74.1 innings pitched with a 2.30 ERA and 69 strikeouts. Kintzler was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 40th round of the 2004 draft. Kintzler is currently still in the MLB and playing for the Washington Nationals as the 2018 season gets underway. Kintzler was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2017 as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

“Obviously the more [numbers] you [retire] the more special contributors [there have been] to the program,” DSU head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. “There’s a certain mystique to that, maybe wanting yours up there one day and striving for greatness, whether that be during your time here and or what you are going to do beyond here.”

While the three standouts made great impacts on the program during their time at DSU, they all played well before most of the current players were even out of grade school. Catcher Jake Foster, a freshman general studies major from Bountiful, said he has never talked personally with any of the retired players.

“Sometimes they will show up to different banquets,” Foster said. “Sometimes they’ll talk to us and give speeches but as far as coming to chill or hangout at least as I’ve been here [it hasn’t happened].”

Pfatenhauer said there are no specific qualifications to getting a number retired; it is based on how important the player or person was during their time at DSU and what they were able to accomplish after.

“I think its an honor to have your number retired, to have it put up on the fence for everyone to see,” said pitcher Tyler Rosas, a junior exercise science major from Twin Falls, Idaho. “[The retired numbers] motivate me to try and get my jersey up there.”