DAVENPORT, IOWA (November 30, 2021) — Quad Cities River Bandits Manager Chris Widger was named 2021 Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year, Baseball America announced Tuesday. The award marks the skipper’s second 2021 managerial honor after earning High-A Central Manager of the Year in October and makes him the second Royals’ minor-league manager to receive the Baseball America Honor.

In his first year in Quad Cities, his sixth in the Royals’ organization, Widger led the River Bandits to a league-best 77-41 record and their twelfth championship in franchise history. During the 2021 season, the River Bandits owned a winning record against all of their divisional opponents, won or split all but one series, and never lost a series at home, going 40-19 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Widger began his managerial career with Rookie-level Burlington in 2019 and led the Royals to the Appalachian League Championship Series after serving as bench coach for the Wilmington Blue Rocks from 2016-18. Before joining the Royals’ organization, Widger managed the independent-league Camden Riversharks in 2015 and served as their pitching coach from 2012-2014.

A third-round pick by Seattle in the 1992 Draft, Widger played parts of twelve seasons in the Majors with the Mariners (1995-96, 2000), Expos (1997-2000), Yankees (2002), Cardinals (2003), White Sox (2005-06), and Orioles (2006), winning a World Series with Chicago in 2005.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: The 2021 season marked the River Bandits’ first year as the High-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The River Bandits anchor the Quad Cities sports-market, which The Sports Business Journal named the top minor-league sports-market in the country in 2015 and second-best minor-league market in its 2017 follow-up ranking. In 2015, 2017, and again in 2019, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s award for “Best Charitable Works” in Minor League Baseball, the only club to win that coveted award three times. For more informationvisit www.riverbandits.com or contact General Manager Joe Kubly at (563) 333-2768.

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