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items tagged with sports

Bigger Than Baseball: Owner Dave Heller Helps the River Bandits Transcend Sport
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2015-08-06 11:30:04

Dave Heller. Photo by Kevin Schafer (KRichardPhoto.com).

It goes without saying that Dave Heller is a baseball guy. He is, after all, the Quad Cities River Bandits’ managing partner, and he has an ownership stake in three other minor-league teams.

He talks about his first ownership experience – as a business partner with legendary players Don Mattingly (Heller calls him “Donnie”) and Cal Ripken Jr. And about road trips to see his baseball idol Tom Seaver when he pitched for the Mets and Red Sox.

When I inquired about his favorite River Bandits player, he quickly answered, “Carlos Correa, without question. ... Great work ethic, great natural ability, great with kids. He’ll be a special star. ... The idea of having an overall number-one pick like Carlos here is really exciting to us. Two years later, and he’s in the major leagues and tearing it up.”

Heller grew up in Baltimore, but he wasn’t an ardent Orioles fan. “I wasn’t passionate about the Birds the way other people were,” he said. “I really kind of just loved baseball writ large. I could watch a Cardinals-Cubs game and enjoy myself every bit as much as watching an Orioles-White Sox game.”

Yet the 53-year-old doesn’t run the River Bandits – or any other team he owns – like a sports enterprise. In an hour-long conversation last week, the game itself felt incidental. Heller said his model for the myriad improvements, additions, and promotions at Modern Woodmen Park during his tenure was “county fairs. ... I think the idea of bringing some of that county-fair atmosphere into a ballpark is really healthy and fun and productive.”

Treating the ballpark like an amusement park might rankle baseball purists, but it’s good business – particularly when one considers that minor-league owners manage the venue and not the team. The goal is to get people through the gates – and all the better if some of them only know ERA as an acronym for the Equal Rights Amendment.


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Photos from the World Series of Drag Racing, August 27-28 in Cordova
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Noteworthy Events

2010-08-29 19:28:40

Images by photographer Chris Jones from the World Series of Drag Racing, August 27 and 28, 2010, at Cordova Dragway Park.


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Photos from the WWE Raw Event, April 5 at the i wireless Center
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Noteworthy Events

2010-04-07 16:16:07

Images by photographer Chris Jones from Monday's WWE Raw event at the i wireless Center. Click on any photo for a larger version.


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Ted Rall: Revenge of the Nerds
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2009-10-04 11:29:45


“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10”: The Best Golfing Experience Is Fore Wii
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Gaming

2009-07-21 14:56:03

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

The Tiger Woods golf games have been a solid play experience for the past few years on every platform. The Xbox 360's and PlayStation 3's easy-to-learn controls combined with strong online support have ensured a high replay value. Fans had hoped the Wii's motion controls would improve the game further but were generally disappointed.

Enter 2009 and the new Wii MotionPlus accessory, giving the remote control near one-to-one motion detection for games programmed to use it. Simply put, your movements will be perfectly reflected in games. The upcoming Wii Sports Resort and Red Steel 2 include swordplay to highlight the enhanced motion detection, but Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 was one of the first games available using this new add-on. If you're a golfer, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better golf simulator for use at home.


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