Sports & Recreation
Governor Quinn Proclaims “Jackie Robinson West Championship Day” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:59

Governor Celebrates with Team and Fans at Rally and Parades

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed today “Jackie Robinson West Championship Day” in honor of the baseball team from Chicago’s South Side that won the U.S. Championship and was runner up in the Little League World Series. Jackie Robinson West defeated Nevada to become the U.S. Champions and advanced to play South Korea in the World Series, for the culmination of an amazing season.

“The players, coaches and parents of Jackie Robinson West have accomplished something we can all be proud of,” Governor Quinn said. “These young players have displayed a level of teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication well beyond their years, and are an inspiration to kids across Chicago, Illinois and our nation. Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, the Jackie Robinson West little leaguers are some of the most successful baseball players in Illinois' history. The entire state of Illinois is proud of Jackie Robinson West - this was a special season we won't soon forget.”

In his Proclamation, the Governor said, “…number 42 – Jackie Robinson – would have been proud of this year’s team, which showed the same grit and grace Jackie showed as a player.”

Fans all over Illinois gathered to watch Jackie Robinson West’s journey to the World Series. The South Side team defeated Nevada 7-5 on Saturday, August 23 to win the U.S. finals and advance to the World Series, where they lost to South Korea 8-4.

Jackie Robinson West is the first all African-American team to win the U.S. Championship in over three decades.  In 1983, Jackie Robinson West won the Regional Championship, a feat accomplished by only two Chicago-area teams since (Lemont in 2006 and South Holland in 1992), and finished fifth in the World Series.

The Jackie Robinson West Little League team was founded in 1971 - the year before Jackie Robinson died - by educator Joseph H. Haley, whose goal was to provide young people with wholesome, healthy recreation through baseball. The team’s mission is to bring children into a structured program environment supported by adult volunteers where values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline are emphasized.

A copy of the Proclamation is attached.

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MALLARDS OPEN 2014-15 SEASON OCTOBER 24 ON HOME ICE; 33 GAME HOME SLATE FEATURES 25 WEEKEND DATES PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Jim Kersten   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:56
MOLINE, Ill. (August 27, 2014) – The Quad City Mallards will open their 66-game 2014-15 Central Hockey League season at home on Friday, October 24 at 7:05 p.m. against the Rapid City Rush and go on to play their first four games on home ice, the Mallards announced today in conjunction with the CHL.

The Mallards will play 25 of their 33 home games on fan friendly weekend dates.  The Flock will take the ice at the i wireless Center for ten Friday night games, ten Saturday evening tilts, five Sunday contests and eight Wednesday night outings.  Each of the Mallards’ Sunday home games will face off at 4:05 p.m. while all other home games will start at 7:05 p.m.

"We are excited to offer so many weekend dates for our fans to attend games and to continue building up our rivalries with Brampton, Missouri and Rapid City," said Mallards president Bob McNamara.  “After winning a playoff series and reaching the semi-finals for the first time in over a decade last year, we’re looking forward to the start of this season and the opportunity to build on that success.”

The Mallards’ home slate is weighted toward weekends from the outset.  The season opener is the first of two games in two nights between the Mallards and Rapid City at the i wireless Center.  Those two clashes will reunite the Mallards and Rush for the first time since the Mallards stoked the budding rivalry between the clubs by dramatically knocking off Rapid City in the opening round of last spring’s President’s Cup playoffs.

After their duo of duels with Rapid City, the Mallards will welcome the Brampton Beast to the Quad Cities for a pair of tilts.  The Mallards will host the Beast on Halloween- Friday, October 31- and Saturday, November 1.

The CHL will, for a third straight season, forgo a geographical split into conferences but still play an unbalanced schedule.  The Mallards will meet the Beast 16 times- more than they play any of their other five foes.  The season series between the two clubs will start with five consecutive meetings between October 31 and November 9.  The Mallards will travel to Brampton for a trio of games after hosting their first two match-ups with the Beast.

The Mallards’ already strong rivalry with the Missouri Mavericks will only intensify over the course of 13 regular season clashes.  The Mallards and Mavs first renew acquaintances on Sunday, November 23 in Independence; Missouri travels to Moline for the first time six days later.

Similarly, the Mallards and Rush will no doubt crank up the heat on their rivalry during a dozen regular season meetings.  The Mallards will face the Wichita Thunder nine times and the Allen Americans and Tulsa Oilers eight times apiece.

The Mallards will meet two-time defending champion Allen for the first time since falling to the Americans in the seventh game of April’s semi-finals on Sunday, November 16 at the Allen Event Center.  The Americans visit the Quad Cities for the first time on Friday, February 6.

The Mallards will begin December with six straight away games- their longest road trip of the season.  The Mallards travel to Missouri, Rapid City (for two games), Allen, Wichita and Tulsa between December 2 and December 13.

The Mallards kick off March with their longest homestand.  The Flock will play seven home games between March 1 and March 18, welcoming Missouri (three times), Allen (twice), Wichita and Tulsa to the Quad Cities.

Upon completing that home ice septet, the Mallards will play six of their final eight games on the road.  After playing their last home game on Wednesday, April 1 against Brampton, Coach Terry Ruskwowski’s troops will close out the regular season with a two-game set in Rapid City Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4.

Other schedule highlights include:

  • The Mallards will endure their two busiest stretches of the campaign during the holiday season.  They will play seven games in 11 days between November 19 and November 29 before hitting the ice six times in eight days between December 27 and January 3.
  • The Mallards will play a total of 14 times in December, their busiest month of the season.  They will play 13 games in November, 12 in March, 11 in February, ten in January and three in both October and April.
  • The Mallards will play three games in three nights on two occasions: November 21, 22 and 23 and December 20, 21 and 22.
  • The Mallards will see ample holiday action beginning with their Halloween night tussle with Brampton.  While the Mallards will be idle on Thanksgiving itself, they will play three games in four nights over Thanksgiving week: Wednesday, November 26 at Wichita; Friday, November 28 at Tulsa; and Saturday, November 29 at home against Missouri.  The Mallards will close out 2014 north of the border.  The Flock will battle the Beast in Brampton on Wednesday afternoon, December 31.  Love is unlikely to be in the air when the Mallards collide with the Oilers in Tulsa on Valentine’s Day- Saturday, February 14.  The Mallards will hope the joke is on the Beast when they host Brampton on April 1.
  • The Mallards’ season series against Brampton, Rapid City and Tulsa will be evenly split between home and away games.  In contrast, the Mallards will play six homes and seven road games against Missouri; four homes games alongside five away tilts against Wichita; and five home games but only three on the road against Allen.

2014-15 Mallards season tickets are now on sale.  Ticket packages are available to meet almost any budget.  A limited edition season ticket holder Mallard jersey, 12 additional ticket vouchers per seat and free parking are among a host of exclusive benefits available to season ticket holders.  For more season ticket information fans can call the Mallards’ business office at 309-277-1364.  Single game seats will go on sale in September on a date to be announced.

About the Quad City Mallards
A proud affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild, the Quad City Mallards are approaching their eighteenth season and their fifth in the Central Hockey League.  One of the winningest teams in all of minor league hockey, the Mallards competed in the United Hockey League from 1995 through 2007 and in the International Hockey League in 2009-10.  The Mallards’ proud history has seen them capture the UHL’s Colonial Cup Championship three times (1997, 1998, 2001) and secure that league’s Tarry Cup four times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002) for the best overall regular season record.  In 2001, the Mallards made professional hockey history, recording their sixth consecutive season with 50 or more wins, a feat that has yet to be matched.  The iWireless Center provides a unique environment for hockey and features one-of-a-kind seating areas such as the Nest for groups and functions and the exclusive Drake Club.  For more information on the Quad City Mallards or for Mallards tickets go to www.myqcmallards.com.  Fans can also follow the Mallards via Twitter at twitter.com/myqcmallards and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/quadcitymallards.

 
RIVER BANDITS, ASTROS EXTEND AFFILIATION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 12:56
Defending Midwest League Champions remain Class-A affiliate in top-rated minor league system
DAVENPORT, Iowa (August 26, 2014) – The Quad Cities River Bandits and Houston Astros have signed a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract through the 2016 season. River Bandits owner Dave Heller and Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday at Modern Woodmen Park.
In their first year of a new affiliation with the Astros in 2013, the River Bandits won the Midwest League Championship and became the first team in Minor League Baseball history to feature consecutive No. 1 overall picks on its roster with shortstop Carlos Correa and pitcher Mark Appel. Entering the 2014 season, those prospects and other current and former River Bandits were among the reasons ESPN.com ranked the Houston Astros minor league system No. 1 in all of baseball.
“The last two seasons have been a special time for Quad Cities baseball – from seeing some of the top rising prospects in baseball and major league talent on the field to a Midwest League Championship,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Houston Astros and one of the best minor league systems in baseball.”
“This is a very exciting day for the Houston Astros to be able to extend our relationship with Quad Cities and with Dave Heller,” said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. “What we want to do is have affiliates that are the gold standard of their league, and this facility, the way this community has made our players feel at home, and the extra mile that Dave and the River Bandits have gone – and will continue to go – are what makes this place so special.”
River Bandits from the 2013 and 2014 seasons currently make up seven of the top 10, and 10 of the top 18 prospects in the Houston Astros organization, according to MLB.com. Included are Correa (No. 1), Appel (2), pitchers Lance McCullers (6), Michael Feliz (7) and Vincent Velasquez (8), third baseman Rio Ruiz (9), pitcher Josh Hader (10), outfielder Teoscar Hernandez (11), first baseman A.J. Reed (15), and second baseman Tony Kemp (18). In 2013, the Astros drafted Moline, Ill., native Thomas Lindauer, whose time with the River Bandits this season made him the first Quad Cities-native to play with the Midwest League franchise in 26 years.
With Correa in 2013 and Feliz in 2014, the River Bandits were the only team in Class-A baseball to be represented by a player on its roster each of the last two seasons at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Dave Heller and his Quad Cities River Bandits organization,” said Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken. “We are extremely excited to rejoin forces with this exciting and progressive ownership group and look forward to our players developing their baseball skills in the unique and picturesque environment at Modern Woodmen Park for years to come.”
In addition to the Astros' minor league talent, four players from the Houston Astros current major league roster – including star rookies in first baseman Jon Singleton and George Springer – have played with Quad Cities in the past two seasons. In addition to Springer, pitchers Josh Fields and Anthony Bass also completed rehab assignments with the River Bandits.
Among the other highlights of the current affiliation with the Astros was a visit to Modern Woodmen Park by Astros Senior Director of Major League Field Operations, Dan Bergstrom – an Ogden, Iowa, native and Iowa State alumnus – to work with the River Bandits grounds crew for three days. The River Bandits this season also gave away bobbleheads to fans of Houston Astros legends Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
“The Houston Astros have been truly great partners with the River Bandits organization, not only in assembling the team playing in the Quad Cities, but also for their collaboration within their entire organization,” said River Bandits General Manager Andrew Chesser. “We are excited to continue a special relationship by extending the Player Development Contract.”
Prior to the current affiliation, Quad Cities was also a Houston Astros affiliate from 1993 to 1998.
UP NEXT: Fan Appreciation Week continues Thursday is Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night with a River Bandits hat giveaway, and Friday is Fan Appreciation Night with postgame fireworks. Regular tickets are available at www.riverbandits.com.

 
BANDITS FAN 18 KERNELS, HOMER TWICE FOR WIN PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:37
Quad Cities stays two games behind Wisconsin for a second-half playoff spot with seven games remaining
DAVENPORT, Iowa (August 25, 2014) – The Quad Cities River Bandits overcame a 2-0 deficit with a fourth-inning, game-tying, two-run home run by first baseman A.J. Reed and a go-ahead, solo home run by right fielder James Ramsay in the sixth inning of a 3-2 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 2,673 at Modern Woodmen Park Monday night.
With its first three-game winning streak since July 29, Quad Cities (31-32 second half, 66-66 overall) stayed two games behind Wisconsin (33-30) for the final second-half playoff spot in the Western Division with seven games remaining. With their fifth win in their last six games, the River Bandits moved one-half game ahead of Peoria (30-32), which will play a doubleheader Tuesday in Clinton.
Quad Cities pitchers struck out 18 batters for the first time since their home opener of April 8, 2011, when they struck out the same number in a 7-4 win over Beloit. The 33 combined strikeouts by Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids (39-24, 70-63) were the most in a River Bandits game since June 28, 2010, when Quad Cities and Wisconsin combined for 33 strikeouts in a 14-inning, 7-6 Quad Cities win.
On Monday, River Bandits right-hander Troy Scribner and Kernels left-hander Stephen Gonsalves each struck out five batters in the first three innings of a scoreless game. In the fourth inning, Cedar Rapids second baseman Tanner Vavra hit a leadoff double and scored on a double by catcher Michael Quesada. Shortstop Ryan Walker singled to center field to drive in Quesada for a 2-0 lead. After Scribner struck out designated hitter Jonatan Hinojosa and third baseman Logan Wade, he walked first baseman Chad Christensen. That ended Scribner's outing after 3 2/3 innings, in which he allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. Left-hander Jordan Mills began by hitting right fielder Alex Swim with a pitch to load the bases before striking out center fielder Max Murphy to end the inning.
With a 2-0 lead, Gonsalves hit left fielder Ryan Bottger with a pitch to start the bottom of the fourth inning. Gonsalves fanned designated hitter Chase McDonald, before Reed hit his sixth Midwest League home run – and second in three games – to make it 2-2. Gonsalves struck out four of the next five batters to finish five innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.
Mills struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings, before left-hander Chris Lee (8-6) began the sixth inning in a 2-2 tie. Lee pitched a perfect frame, but Kernels right-hander Jared Wilson began the bottom of the sixth inning by allowing Ramsay's third home run – all in the last 16 games – just inside the foul pole down the right-field line. Wilson completed two innings, allowing two hits and one walk with four strikeouts, and left-hander Josue Montanez struck out one batter in one inning. Kernels pitchers struck out at least one batter every inning.
Lee held the 3-2 lead despite the Kernels loading the bases in the seventh inning with his own fielding error and two walks. He struck out Walker to end the third different inning Cedar Rapids left the bases loaded. After a perfect eighth inning and getting the first two outs in the ninth, Lee allowed a single by left fielder J.D. Williams, before right-hander Keegan Yuhl struck out Vavra looking to end the game. The Kernels left 14 total runners on base and struck out at least twice in every inning except the second – the only inning they did not strike out.
Quad Cities concludes its series with Cedar Rapids at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when River Bandits right-hander Michael Feliz (8-4) is scheduled to face Kernels left-hander Lewis Thorpe (3-2). The River Bandits host Clinton for their final three home games Wednesday through Friday.
UP NEXT: Fan Appreciation Week continues Tuesday with Iowa Fan Appreciation Night, when Iowa residents can get $1 bleacher or berm tickets by showing a valid driver's license at the box office. Regular invidivual tickets are Buy-1-Get-1 Free, Kids Eat Free and fans can bring an old can of Mountain Dew to the gates to receive a voucher for a free 16-ounce Mountain Dew. Wednesday is Isle Casino Night and Pay Your Bill Wednesday. Thursday is Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night with a River Bandits hat giveaway, and Friday is Fan Appreciation Night with postgame fireworks. Regular tickets are available at www.riverbandits.com.

 
PHILLIPS NAMED MIDWEST LEAGUE POSTSEASON ALL-STAR PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:19
River Bandits have MWL Postseason All-Star in three straight seasons for first time since 1988-92

DAVENPORT, Iowa (Aug. 25, 2014) – Brett Phillips, who played 103 games as an outfielder this season for the Quad Cities River Bandits, has been named a member of the 2014 Midwest League Postseason All-Star team. Phillips' selection marks the third straight season the River Bandits have had a Midwest League Postseason All-Star – a first for the franchise since it had at least one All-Star in each of five straight seasons 1988 to 1992.

Houston's sixth-round pick in 2012 out of Seminole (Fla.) High School, Phillips was promoted to Class-A Advanced Lancaster on August 4, but he still ranks first in the Midwest League in slugging percentage (.521), second in OPS (.883) and third in both batting average (.302) and triples (12). Among all-time Quad Cities single-season marks, his 12 triples place him in a tie for second while his .521 slugging percentage is ninth. Phillips' 14 outfield assists this season are the most in the Midwest League through Sunday.

Over 103 games with the River Bandits, Phillips led the team in hits (116), triples and slugging while ranking second in doubles (21), RBIs (58) and OPS, tied for second in home runs (the first 13 of his career) and third in walks (36) and stolen bases (18). Phillips became the first Quad Cities player since at least 1998 to homer in five straight games when he did so July 26-30.

The 20-year-old Seminole, Fla., native was a starting outfielder for the 2014 Midwest League All-Star Game June 17 in West Michigan and was the youngest position player selected for the Western Division roster. Ranked as the Houston Astros' No. 30 prospect before the season by Baseball America, Phillips also won Quad Cities Player of the Month in April, when he posted a .301 batting average with three triples, two home runs and a team-high 13 RBIs. Phillips had a .394 on-base percentage, .446 slugging percentage, and .840 OPS in 23 games.

The River Bandits have had four postseason all-stars the past three seasons, as outfielder Anthony Garcia and designated hitter Colin Walsh each earned the distinction in 2012, while shortstop Carlos Correa received the honor last year. The Quad Cities franchise has had five Midwest League Postseason All-Stars in eight seasons as a Houston Astros affiliate. Outfielder Richard Hidalgo (1994), left-handed pitcher Tony Mounce (1995) and designated hitter Jim Thomas (1998) were each postseason all-stars.

Phillips is batting .367 with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and seven RBIs in 20 games with Lancaster. He has posted a .427 OBP while slugging .595 for a 1.022 OPS.

UP NEXT: Fan Appreciation Week continues with Illinios Fan Appreciation Night, when Illinois residents can get $1 bleacher or berm tickets by showing a valid driver's license at the box office. Regular bleacher and berm tickets are just $2, as are hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, soda, and beer on a Markdown Monday presented by 97X. An all-you-can-ride amusements pass is just $10 on Monday. On Tuesday, Iowa residents can get $1 tickets, and Thursday is Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night, when all regular tickets are half-price. Regular tickets for the homestand through Aug. 29 are available at www.riverbandits.com.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, Space Camp opened June 20; the new Drop-N-Twist debuted in July; and the newly expanded 300-foot long zip line also reopened. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

 

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