Shelby Miller and Friends Take the Diamond

The St. Louis Cardinals' number one draft pick, Shelby Miller, made his professional debut with Quad Cities on Thursday night. We have the photos!

The collective eyes of The Cardinal Nation were on Davenport, Iowa Thursday night as the long-awaited professional debut of Shelby Miller finally occurred as the Quad Cities River Bandits entertained the Beloit Snappers.

Ever since the name of the Texan was called out as the Cardinals' first pick, the 19th overall selection in the 2009 draft on June 9, fans have been awaiting this day.

Miller, an 18-year-old fireballer, was scheduled to start for the Bandits and pitch one inning before turning the game over to Scott McGregor. The young right-hander did just that, throwing 22 of his 32 pitches for strikes.

After a runner reached on an error to open the game, a one-out walk put runners on first and second. Miller then collected his first professional strikeout, but a run-scoring single to left followed. In all, he allowed one run, unearned, on one hit with one strikeout and one walk.

Miller's second and final start of his abbreviated first season is scheduled to consist of 40-45 pitches this coming Monday, Labor Day, September 7. Following Miller to the mound in the final game of the 2009 regular season will be Eric Fornataro.

To capture Thursday's occasion for The Cardinal Nation subscribers, our friends from Names Around Town Photography were ready, willing and able. For that, we offer our sincere appreciation.

Shelby Miller in his official professional debut

2009 second-rounder Robert Stock recently joined the Bandits, up from Johnson City. Though he wasn't behind the plate on Thursday, Stock may serve as Miller's batterymate for years to come.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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