Sports & Recreation
8th Annual Iowa State Fairgrounds 5K Supports Future Renovations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Drew Norton   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:26

DES MOINES, IA (10/01/2014)(readMedia)-- Adventure to the Iowa State Fairgrounds on November 2 for the 8th annual Fairgrounds 5K, presented by West Bank. Runners, joggers and walkers can experience the Fairgrounds' park-like setting without the hustle and bustle of the Fair. Nothing compares to an Iowa State Fair corndog and this is your chance to enjoy one "guilt free".

"In August, the Fairgrounds are filled with great people, entertainment, rides and the best food we all look forward to every year. The 5K is the perfect opportunity for Iowans to see how beautiful our Fairgrounds are while supporting its preservation and renovation," said Peter Cownie, Blue Ribbon Foundation Executive Director. "I encourage all runners, walkers, and Fair-goers alike to take part in this special event."

The 5K run's scenic race route will take you down the Grand Concourse, around the livestock barns and through the hills of the Campgrounds. Runners will see current projects on the Fairgrounds with the continued renovation of the Youth Inn and construction on the new MidAmerican Energy stage. Awards will be given to winners in different age groups and to the overall male and female finishers. Registration is $20 before October 20th, $30 from October 20-28 and $40 on race day. Entry fee includes a t-shirt and goodie bag.

Fair-lovers can also participate in the one mile walk. Take a nice stroll through the beautiful Fairgrounds. All participants in the walk will be entered into a drawing for additional prizes. Registration for the walk is also $20.

Just like the Iowa State Fair, the 5K event is for the entire family. Kids are able to participate in the Chase the Cow Kids' Run. All kids will receive a participation ribbon and a t-shirt for the $5 registration fee. To make it even more fun, kids will chase a cow mascot to the finish line!

Online registration for the Fairgrounds 5K is available at For more information about the Fairgrounds 5K or the Blue Ribbon Foundation, please visit our website or call 515-262-3111 Ext. 675.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated more than $100 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds.


What A Year! Thank You River Bandit Fans! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by River Bandits   
Monday, 22 September 2014 14:29

Dear Friends,

What a year!

When we first bought this team, we set out to change the culture around the ballpark and return this team back to its rightful owners - you, the greatest fans in the country.

Since then, we have steadily increased both attendance and corporate participation, and moved significantly closer toward our goal of making Modern Woodmen Park the central gathering place for this wonderful and diverse bi-state community - a one-of-a-kind place to gather with friends, family, and coworkers across the region for affordable, family-friendly entertainment and lots of good, clean fun.

But this year, despite leading the league in rainouts, bitter cold weather in April and terrible flooding in late June and early July which left our parking lots and portions of our ballpark underwater, you helped us set the all-time per-game attendance record for Quad Cities! This year's average of 3,885 people per-game is the highest ever for the Quad Cities franchise - and our ballpark dates back to 1931!

Your tremendous, unwavering support is at once both humbling and energizing - humbling because we are so grateful to you for choosing to spend your summer evenings with us over and over again. And energizing because your support inspires us to aim still higher, achieve new heights, and do even more to keep Modern Woodmen Park what USA Today rightly called the "best minor league ballpark in America."

We were thrilled for this great community to win that award. But we will never rest on our laurels. Instead, we became the first team in the country to open a Ferris wheel inside a minor league ballpark. We also unveiled two new rides - "Space Camp" and the Mediacom "Drop'N Twist" - and extended our zip-line to 300 feet! Now, with the ballpark open every weekend all summer long for amusements, more than 65,000 people have enjoyed a ride on one of our fun attractions.

Our success has also given us more opportunities to give back. This year, we gave $50,000 to the Genesis Health Services Foundation to fund neo-natal intensive care services and free flu shots for those in need. And, through our unmatched Bandit Scholars program, our club paid the tuition of three outstanding young students who aspired to attend college in our community. Their first year's tuition … covered. All told, we gave away nearly $240,000 in cash and merchandise - all within the Quad Cities.

That's what giving back means to us.

Please accept our gratitude for your enthusiastic support all season long. We are already making plans for new additions and improvements to the ballpark, including renovated bathrooms throughout the concourse and two new deck areas, for 2015, so we will not be sitting still. After all, both on and off the field, the River Bandits will never stop improving. Because we belong to you, the people of the Quad Cities, and we're a perfect fit: a championship team playing before the country's greatest fans in the nation's best minor league ballpark!

From us, and on behalf of everyone who's a part of the River Bandits, thank you.


Dave Heller                Bob Herrfeldt
Owners, Quad Cities River Bandits

News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Scott Kornberg   
Monday, 22 September 2014 08:31
Former River Bandit Josh Hader wins organizational Pitcher of the Year
DAVENPORT, Iowa (September 17, 2014) – Brett Phillips, who played 103 games as an outfielder this season for the Quad Cities River Bandits, has been named the Houston Astros Minor League Player of the Year, the major league club announced on Wednesday.
Former River Bandits left-handed pitcher Josh Hader, who pitched for Quad Cities in 2013 and won the Midwest League title-clinching game a year ago, was named Houston's Minor League Pitcher of the Year this season. Both Phillips and Hader will be honored during the pregame ceremonies on Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
In 130 games between Quad Cities and Class-A Advanced Lancaster, Phillips hit .310 with 29 doubles, 14 triples, 17 home runs, 69 RBI and 23 stolen bases. He posted a .375 on-base percentage, .529 slugging percentage and .905 OPS. In the California League playoffs, Phillips led the JetHawks with 11 hits while playing all eight games in the team's run to the California League Championship.
Already named a Midwest League postseason All-Star and the Class-A Player of the Year by Baseball America, Phillips is the first River Bandit to win an annual organizational award since Shelby Miller was the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010.
Over 103 games this season with the River Bandits, Phillips led the team in hits (116), triples and slugging while ranking second in doubles (21), home 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.
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 finished the season 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 also the most in the Midwest League.
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.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership in 2014 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.

Deadline Extended to Friday for Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by River Bandits   
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:49
The first-ever Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby to benefit the Bandit Scholars Program is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 21. Presented by Modern Woodmen of America and Triumph Community Bank, the event will give fans and people across the Quad Cities region the chance to swing for the fences at Modern Woodmen Park. Registration has been extended to Friday, September 19! More »

Hometown Teams Programming Starts with the History of Auto Racing, Sept. 16 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:05

Events continue with programs on women in baseball, professional football in Rock Island, stadium tours, and Quad City golf


Rock Island, IL: Hometown Teams, a touring exhibit on how sports affects American culture, kicked off this morning at the Rock Island Main Library with an opening day ceremony involving 150 participants, including athletes from Rock Island, Moline, and United Township High Schools, the Moline High School marching band, members of the Rock Island High School varsity cheerleading squad, local committee members and program partners.

The traveling Hometown Teams exhibit, which is a collaboration of the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street and the Illinois Humanities Council, is supported by local sports history displays and programs at the Rock Island Main Library and other community sites.. The first program in the six-week program series is Tuesday. It features the history of local auto racing. "Start Your Engines: Motorsports in the Quad Cities," will be presented by racing writer and organizer Roger Ruthhart at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street. The free program covers the rich history of auto racing in the Quad Cities, including what many believe to be the site of the first automobile race in Iowa.

Additional free history programs in September include:

Women Who Played Baseball: Monday, Sept. 22, at 6:30 pm, Rock Island Main Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island. Illinois Humanities Council road scholar Barbara Gregovich presents the story of three teenage girls who played hardball on the last traveling "bloomer girl" baseball team in 1934. For 60 years prior to the formation of the All American Girls Professional League, women played in these national and international barnstorming leagues. This human-interest story touches on the Great Depression, barnstorming baseball teams, and the heroic women who wanted to play hardball.

Small Stadium, Big Time Football; RI Independents of the NFL: Thursday, Sept. 25:, 6:30 pm, Rock Island Main Library, 401 19th Street. Retired Rock Island High School coach Vic Boblett brings us the story of the Rock Island Independents, one of the first 14 teams of the National Football League. The Independents are prominently featured in the library's local display. Boblett will expand upon their role in local and national football history, and on the differences in football, then and now.

Places Where We Play Stadium Bus Tour: Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9:30 am to noon. Tour embarks and returns to Rock Island Main Library. The stadiums where we watch and play for Hometown Teams are sources of great memories and community spirit. Learn more about the history of Rock Island High School's Almquist Field, Moline High School's Wharton Field House and Browning Field, and Augustana College's Ericson Field. Each stop includes a presentation, with additional bus commentary by Thom Cornelis. Reservations needed for bus arrangements. Please call 309-732-7345 or register via the library's online calendar. Reservations requested no later than Wednesday, Sept. 24. The tour is free and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

From the Quad Cities Open to the John Deere Classic - Big-time Professional Golf in the Quad Cities, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 6:30 pm, Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street. Hometown Teams local project partner Moline Library hosts a golf exhibit and program by longtime tournament volunteer John Wetzel.

October programs include an Oct. 4 program on a local game changer in integrating professional football, Frederick "Duke" Slater, along with presentations on Three-I League baseball,  Tri-Cities Blackhawks  professional basketball, amateur softball tournaments at Douglas Park, and a panel discussion on how Title 9 changed sports nationally and locally.

Additional Hometown Team displays are offered at Rock Island County Historical Society, and the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. Evenings at Butterworth, at the Butterworth Center, Moline, has also dedicated three fall programs to sports topics.

"Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, will be on view during library hours from  Saturday, Sept. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 at the Rock Island Library's Main Branch, 401 19th Street, Rock Island. “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Illinois Humanities Council.

Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Local sponsors include the Rock Island Community Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island Public Library Foundation, and Sedona Staffing, along with media sponsorships from WHBF TV/CBS 4, Townsquare Media  (ESPN Quad Cities 93.5, The HAWK 104.9, 97X WXLP, and B100 ), Mickle Communications, The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and the River Cities Reader. In kind support has been received from Bill's Moving and Storage, Victory Enterprises, and Midwest Graphics Management.

All events are free and open to the public. Free Hometown Teams program brochures are available, or contact the library at 309-732-READ or for more details.

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Exhibit Venue: Rock Island Main Library: 401 19th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201, 309-732-READ (7323), Second- floor exhibit space open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, during all scheduled library programs, and by contacting the first floor service desk at other times. Exhibits close one-half hour before library closing. Group tours are available. General library hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The library is closed on Sundays.

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