02/10/2007 2:32 PM - February 10, 2007 - Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced the signing of outfielder Jimmy Hurst. He is the fifth returnee from 2006 and eighth position player on a 2007 roster that now features 17 members.
"When Jimmy expressed an interest in returning, it was an easy decision to make, let's get this done as fast as we can," Forney said. "He was very productive for us last year and hes a big presence in the middle of our line-up because he forces other managers to make decisions."
Hurst, 34, made a big impression in his first Northern League season, batting .307 with 18 home runs and a league-leading 78 runs batted in. Named to the West Division squad at the NL All-Star Game as well as an all-star at seasons end, he was top five in the NL in runs scored, walks, home runs, total bases and slugging percentage and led the Goldeyes in six categories.
Of those 18 homers, 13 of them were hit at CanWest Global Park, where Hurst batted .320 with a monstrous .938 OPS. As good as he was in the regular season, he was even better in the playoffs, hitting a team-best .400 (plus eight walks) with a .467 slugging percentage and a playoff-leading .609 on-base percentage as Winnipeg pushed the eventual champs from Fargo-Moorhead to five games.
A career .276 hitter with 238 home runs and 867 RBI through 1,355 games, Hurst has a .311 average in indy ball with 108 homers and 364 RBI in 475 games.