Quad Cities River Bandits
|Quad Cities River Bandits
Founded in 1901
|Previous||Formerly Class B, Class D|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Midwest League (1960-present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Houston Astros (2013-present)|
St. Louis Cardinals (2005-2012)
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1914, 1933, 1936, 1949, 1968, 1971, 1979, 1990, 2011, 2013|
|Nickname||Quad Cities River Bandits (2008-present)|
Swing of the Quad Cities (2004-2007)
|Ballpark||Modern Woodmen Park (2007-Present)|
John O'Donnell Stadium (1971-2007)
|Main Street Baseball|
|General manager||Andrew Chesser|
The Quad Cities River Bandits are a Class A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Houston Astros, that plays in the Midwest League. Its home games are played at Modern Woodmen Park (formerly John O'Donnell Stadium) in Davenport, Iowa, one of the Quad Cities. The address is 209 S Gaines Street.
- 1 History
- 2 Ownership
- 3 Ballparks
- 4 Notable alumni
- 5 All 20th Century Team
- 6 Roster
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Quad City professional baseball has a rich history that includes teams in Davenport, Moline and Rock Island. Professional baseball in the Quad Cities can be traced back to the 1879 Davenport Brown Stockings, who played one season in the Northwestern League. In subsequent seasons, Davenport teams with catchy names (Onion Weeders, Pilgrims, Hawkeyes) played before the turn of the 20th century in a various leagues.
Early Three-I and other Quad City franchises
With the formation of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League (Three-I) in 1901, Davenport had a team that set the foundation of the franchise that exists today. The 1901 Davenport River Rats and the newly created Rock Island Islanders were charter Three-I members. Making up the rest of the 1901 Three-I were: Terre Haute, Bloomington, Cedar Rapids, Rockford, Evansville and Decatur. The Davenport team continued to change their name frequently in the early years of their Three-I play: River Rats (1901–04), Riversides (1905), Knickerbockers (1906), Prodigals (1909–12) and Davenport Blue Sox (1913–1916). Davenport won their first Three-I Championship in 1914. 
Moline Plowboys and Rock Island Islanders
With Rock Island and Davenport having established teams, Moline gained a franchise in July, 1914. The Danville Speakers relocated to Moline and the Moline Plowboys were established. Moline would win Three-I Championships in 1915, 1921 and 1937. The Plowboys were Class D affiliates of the Detroit Tigers (1922), St Louis Browns (1931–32), Chicago Cubs (1937–40) and the Philadelphia A's (1947–48). From 1920-22 the Plowboys were managed by player-manager Earle Mack, son of Connie Mack. The Islanders were Class D affiliates of the St. Louis Browns (1932) and Cincinnati Reds (1933). In 1922, Rock Island left the Three-I to join the Mississippi Valley League (MVL), followed by Moline a year later. Rock Island's final season was 1937, and Moline played their last game in 1948. The Moline franchise played home games at Browning Field and Rock Island played at Douglas Park. In an exhibition on April 12, 1920 The Plowboys defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-1 in the first "major-league" game played at Browning.
New Riverfront Stadium - 1931
On May 26, 1931, Davenport began play in the newly built Municipal Stadium, nicknamed the "Muny." On the Muny field, Rock Island and Davenport played each other in the championship series in 1932 and 1933. Rock Island won the '32 series and the title in six games. Davenport rebounded to win the MVL title in 1933 (the final season of the MVL). The 1933 team was led by Ed Hall's 151 RBI and Cosmo Cotelle's .407 average. The Davenport Blue Sox played in the Western League in 1934-1937 as a Class A affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1936 team continued the strong decade and claimed the Western League championship. The 1937 was managed by player-manager John "Eagle Beak" Fitzpatrick, who later returned as manager in 1962  
Post World War II Davenport franchises
After a nine season baseball hiatus, the 1946 Davenport Cubs rejoined the Three-I as the Class B affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Led by future MLB players Roy Smalley and Rube Walker, the 1946 team started the new era successfully, winning the regular season Three-I Title. From 1948 to 1949 The Davenport Pirates were the affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Future MLB stars Bob Purkey, Cy Young Winner Vern Law and slugger Frank Thomas were on the 1949 Pirates, who swept Evansville, 3-0, to win the Three-I championship. The team also drew 133,505 fans, a Davenport franchise record that would stand until 1981.
In 1950, the Davenport Quads were an independent team. In 1951 and 1952 Davenport became the Class B affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Harvey Kuenn starred for the 1952 Davenport Tigers, hitting .340 and earning a late season call up to Detroit. Kuenn then won the 1953 Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award for the Tigers. Sadly, after going 54-69 in 1952, the Tigers left town and Davenport ceased play for four seasons. Then, in 1957, the Davenport DavSox began play as the Class B affiliate of the Chicago White Sox for two seasons.
Midwest League era: 1960-present
When the Davenport DavSox moved to Lincoln, Nebraska after the 1958 season, local businessman Hugo "Hooks" Kohn started a drive to bring a new team to Davenport. Kohn was a leading pioneer/player of "Diamond Ball" a Davenport game that led to today's softball. With the Kohn heading the Quad City Baseball fans Association, a Davenport franchise was secured for the 1960 season as a Milwaukee Braves affiliate. The Quad City Baseball Fans Association would run the Davenport franchise through 1986. The Davenport Braves became a member of the fledgling Midwest League (MWL), joining Waterloo, Iowa; Keokuk, Iowa; Dubuque, Iowa; Clinton, Iowa; Kokomo, Indiana; Quincy, Illinois and Decatur, Illinois to form an 8-team league. The Davenport franchise has been a member of the Midwest League ever since. The creation of the Midwest League essentially ended the Three-I, which folded after the 1961 season. In its long history, the Three-I hosted teams in 31 cities.
In 1961 the franchise permanently dropped "Davenport" and became the Quad City Braves. In 1962 Quad Cities became a farm team of the expansion Los Angeles (later California) Angels. The affiliate change was forced when Cedar Rapids (also a Braves affiliate) was one of six Three-I teams that joined the Midwest League in 1962 after the Three-I dissolution. Thus began a lengthy affiliation with the Angels. The Quad City Angels of 1963 and 1964 were managed by Chuck Tanner in his first managerial position. (Tanner would later lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to the World Series Championship in 1979.) The 1964 Angels were the first MWL team to draw more than 100,000 fans in a season. The franchise had other on field successes in the 1960s and '70's.: Fred Koenig managed the Angels to the 1968 MWL title; Mike Stubbins led the 1971 squad to another and Jim Napier led the Quad Cities Cubs title run in 1979.
Except for a six-year affiliation with the Chicago Cubs (1979–84), the Angels affiliation ran from 1962 through the 1992 season. Quad Cities was then affiliate of the Houston Astros (1993 to 1998) and the Minnesota Twins (1999 to 2004). MLB Batting title winner Joe Mauer was a River Bandit during the Twins affiliation. In 2005 the Bandits became the Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, before partnering again with Houston for the 2013 season.
During the 2013 season, Quad Cities became the first team in Minor League history to have two back-to-back first overall draft picks on their roster when the Astros drafted Carlos Correa for 2012 and Mark Appel for 2013.
Modern era: changing team names
The team had always used "Davenport" until changing to "Quad City" in 1962. It had continued to use the nickname of its major-league affiliate through the 1991 season. In 1992, the team created its own nickname for the first time in a "name the team' contest. The team was the Quad City River Bandits from 1992 through the 2003. On October 20, 2003, the team was renamed the Swing of the Quad Cities; the nickname, like the previous one, was the winning entry in another "name the team" contest. However, On December 13, 2007, the team announced it would return to the "Quad Cities River Bandits" after voters in a contest (sponsored by the franchise's new owners) chose the River Bandits name over "The Swing" and four other finalists: "Channel Cats," "The Current," "River Eagles," and "Talons."
After success in securing a Midwest League Franchise for Davenport beginning with the 1960 season, the non-profit Quad City Baseball Fans Association contiuned to operate the franchise from 1960 to 1986. In 1986 Chicago businessman Harry Semrow purchased the team from the association for $350,000, but Semrow was forced to sell after the 1987 season due to poor health.
Richard Holtzman, another Chicago businessman who owned as many as five minor league teams, purchased the franchise from Semrow and remained as owner from 1987 until 1998.
Unveiled on May 26, 1931, on the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport's LeClaire Park, Municipal Stadium was constructed entirely with local labor for $165,000, opening with a capacity of 4,000. It opened complete with light towers (first night game was June 4, 1931). To sustain a franchise, the city of Davenport had realized a new lighted stadium was needed, with a location near downtown.The stadium had been proposed by the Davenport Levee Commission and once approved, has provided a venue to anchor baseball in Davenport for the decades to follow. The 1931 stadium was nicknamed "The Muny."
Previous to The Muny, the Davenport Blue Sox of 1929 and 1930 played home games at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, which had no lighting. Before the Fairgrounds, Davenport teams of 1909-1916 played at a park located near 3rd and Telegraph Road.
In 1971, Municipal Stadium became John O'Donnell Stadium to honor the longtime sports editor of the Quad City Times. In 2007, stadium naming rights went to Rock Island based-Modern Woodmen of America for a reported 4.5 million dollars.
The ball park hosted Midwest League All-Star Games in 1964, 1968, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1990, 2006 and 2011.
Other events were held at the stadium through the years. Some of note:
- The Davenport Blue Sox had several exhibitions against Negro League teams in the 1930s.
- In May 1940, 14,000 were in attendance for Republican Presidential nominee Wendel Willkie.
- The Saint Louis Browns played the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1942 exhibition.
- O' Donnell hosted concerts by Johnny Cash in 1974 and The Beach Boys in 1984. "
- On May 10, 1991, John O'Donnell Stadium hosted Boxing's IBF Middleweight Championship Fight between Davenport native Michael Nunn and James Toney. Toney upset Nunn with a KO in the 11th round to take the Championship belt away from Nunn, who was leading on all scorecards.
In 2004, The Quad City River Bandits and City of Davenport jointly produced a massive renovation to Modern Woodman Park, the first major renovations to the facility since 1989. The entire structure and field of the original 1931 stadium were redone. Only the exterior facade of the old stadium remained, with playing field, concessions, concourses, level loge boxes, and seating areas being reconstructed, essentially creating a new ballpark within the shell of the old park. The park even features a corn field beside left-field, from which the players are introduced. The team also unveiled a $347,000 HD video board shortly before the Bandits hosted the 2011 Midwest League All-Star Game. The renamed and remodeled Modern Woodmen Park was selected the Midwest Leagues best ballpark by Baseball America and earned a five-star rating from BallparkDigest.com.
The stadium survived major Mississippi River floods in 1965, 1969, 1993 and 2001, which breached the facility. Pictures of the flooded stadium are plentiful in the news media. The Great Flood of 1993 was especially damaging to the facility. To combat recurring and costly toll of flooding, the 2004 stadium renovations incorporated a raised the playing field, a burm in the outfield and put metal structures in place for portable flood walls to be inserted outside the stadium. The new protections secured the facility during Mississippi River Floods in 2008, 2011 and 2013. Before the 2004 renovations, the team was regularly forced to move home games to local facilities or other MWL venues (mostly Clinton, Iowa)during years of flooding. For example, the team played several games at North Scott High School and Brady Street Stadium in 1993 and several games at Black Hawk College during the 2001 flood.
Prior to renovations in the late 1980s, numerous high school and college football events were regularly played in the stadium. St. Ambrose University and Davenport Assumption High School used the venue for home football games for a number of years. The first football game in the Muny was hosted by St. Ambrose in September, 1931. The old bleachers along left field/3rd base line had a football press box for a number of years. The last football game played at O'Donnell was in 1986, and demolition of the football stands began in 1987.
The team's home attendance record of 260,471 was set in 1994.
In 2004, Author Tim Rask released a book titled Baseball at Davenport's John O'Donnell Stadium.
- Kyle Abbott (1989)
- Manny Acta (MGR 1997) MLB MGR:
- Matt Adams (2010)
- Willie Mays Aikens (1975)
- Sandy Alomar, SR (1961) MLB AS
- Rich Amaral (1984)
- Garret Anderson (1991) 3 x MLB AS; 2003 AS Game MVP; MLB: 1,395 RBI
- Rick Ankiel (2005)
- Morrie Arnovich (1947) MLB AS
- Scott Baker (2003)
- Damon Berryhill (1984)
- Dante Bichette (1985) 4 x MLB AS; MLB:1,141 RBI
- Larry Bigbie (2006)
- Nick Blackburn (2004)
- Thad Bosley (1975)
- Dan Briggs (1971)
- Jim Bunning (1951) 9 x MLB AS; MLB Perfect Game; 3 x strikeout leader; Member: Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame: 1996
- Mike Butcher (1988)
- Clay Carroll (1961) 2 x MLB AS; 1972 NL leader 37 saves; MLB: 15 seasons 2.94 ERA
- Matt Carpenter (2009)
- Rico Carty (1960) MLB AS; 1970 NL Batting Title
- Ramon Castro (1996)
- Ray Chapman (1911) MLB HBP died from injury
- Mark Clear (1976–77) 2 x MLB AS
- Henry Cotto (1980–81)
- Julio Cruz (1975) MLB: 343 SB
- Dave Collins (1973) MLB: 395 SB
- Keith Comstock (1976)
- Chad Curtis (1989–1990)
- Paul Dade (1970)
- Shawon Dunston (1983)1982 Draft:#1 overall pick; MLB AS
- Damion Easley (1990) MLB AS
- Jim Edmonds (1989) 4 x MLB AS; 8 x Gold Glove.
- Scott Elarton (1994–1995)
- Nick Etten (1933, .357) 1944 AL HR Leader; 1945 AL RBI leader; MLB AS
- Willie Eyre (2000–01)
- Chuck Finley (1986) 4 x MLB AS; 200 MLB wins.
- Willie Fraser (1986)
- Freddy García (1996) 2 x MLB AS
- Jaime Garcia (2006)
- Adrian Garrett (1961)
- Tyler Greene (2006)
- Doug Griffin (1966, 1969) MLB: 1972 Gold Glove
- Carlos Guillén (1996) 3 x MLB AS
- John Halama (1996)
- Mel Hall (1980)
- Milo Hamilton (1950–51) Announcer KSTT Radio. Recipient, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame: Ford C. Frick Award:1992
- Brian Harper (1978 Record 24 HR with QC Angels)
- Paul Hartzell (1975)
- Bryan Harvey (1985) 1991 AL Saves leader; 1991 Rolaids Award; 2 x MLB AS
- Roberto Hernández(1987–1988) MLB AS. 1000+ MLB Appearances
- Richard Hidalgo (1994) 44HR 2001
- Joe Hoerner (1959) MLB AS; 2.99 lifetime ERA.
- Dane Iorg (1976)
- Darrin Jackson (1982)
- Ron Jackson (1972)
- Travis Jackson "Stonewall" (MGR 1960) Member: Major League Baseball Hall of Fame: 1983
- John Jay (2006)
- Garrett Jones (2002)
- Joe Kelly (2010)
- Bobby Kielty (1999)
- Ed Kirkpatrick (1962)
- Don Kirkwood (1972)
- Pete Kozma (2008)
- Jason Kubel (2002)
- Harvey Kuenn (1952,.340) 1953 AL Rookie of the Year; 1959 AL Batting Title; 10 x MLB AS; MLB MGR: Milwaukee Brewers,1982 WS
- Carney Lansford (1976) MLB AS; 1981 AL Batting Title.
- Dave LaRoche (1968)
- Vern Law (1949) MLB AS; 1960 Cy Young Award
- Brad Lidge (1998) 2 x MLB AS
- Julio Lugo (1996)
- Lance Lynn (2008) MLB AS
- Kyle McClellan (2005)
- Bob McClure (1979)
- Jim McGlothlin (1962, 13-5) MLB AS (Died Age 32)
- Bid McPhee (1879) Cincinnati 2nd Baseman. Member: Major League Baseball Hall of Fame: 2000
- Joe Maddon (1976) MLB MGR: Tampa Bay
- Jeff Manto (1985–86)
- Dave Marshall (1963)
- J.C. Martin (1957)
- Carmelo Martinez(1980)
- Dave Martinez (1983)
- Joe Mather (2005)
- Joe Mauer (2002) 5 x MLB AS; 3 x AL Batting title (2006, 08, 09); 3 x Gold Glove; 2009 AL MVP.
- Rudy Meoli (1970)
- Aaron Miles (1997–98)
- Shelby Miller (2009-10)
- Wade Miller (1997) MLB AS
- Don Mincher (1958) 2 x MLB AS
- Sid Monge (1971) MLB AS
- Marcus Moore (1990, 16-5)
- Justin Morneau (2001, .356) 4 x MLB AS; 2006 AL Most Valuable Player
- Jason Motte (2006) WS closer 2011.
- Mark Mulder (2006, Rehab) 2 x MLB AS
- Rance Mulliniks (1975)
- Pat Neshek (2003)
- Adam Ottavino (2006)
- Dave Owen (1979)
- Orlando Palmeiro (1992)
- Marty Pattin (1966) MLB AS
- Glen Perkins (2003–04)
- Chris Perez (2006) MLB AS
- Marty Perez (1966-67)
- Gary Peters (1958)2 x MLB AS; 1963 AL Rookie of the Year; 1963 & 1966 AL ERA Leader; 1964 AL Wins leader
- J.R. Phillips (1989)
- Nick Punto (2004)
- Bob Purkey (1949) 3 x MLB AS
- Colby Rasmus (2006)
- Jerry Remy (1973, .335 BA) MLB AS
- Dennis Ribant (1961)
- Juan Rincon (1999)
- Rick Reichardt (1964)
- Michael Restovich (1999, 107 RBI)
- Rick Reuschel (1983, Rehab) 3 x MLB AS; 2 x Gold Glove.
- Dennis Ribant (17-2, 1961)
- Luis Rodriguez (1999-2000)
- Bobby Rose (1986–88) 1999 Bating Title: Japanese Central League
- Trevor Rosenthal (2011)
- Johan Santana (1998) 4 x MLB AS; Gold Glove; 2004 & 2006 AL Cy Young Award
- Roy Smalley (1946)
- Paul Sorrento (1986)
- Denard Span (2004)
- Jim Spencer (1965) MLB AS
- Nick Stavinoha (2005)
- Mark Sweeney (1992) All-time MLB leader: Pinch hit RBI: 102
- Brian Tallet (2011)
- Frank Tanana (1972) 3 x MLB AS; 1975 AL Strikeouts Leader; 1977 AL ERA Title; MLB: 240 lifetime wins
- Chuck Tanner (MGR 1963-64) MLB, MLB Manager: 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, White Sox.
- Frank Thomas (1949) 3 X MLB AS
- Dickie Thon (1976) MLB AS
- Chris Truby (1994–96)
- Bill Tuttle (1951–52)
- John Verhoeven (1974)
- Billy Wagner (1994, 204K) 6 x MLB AS; MLB Rolaids Reliever Award; 16 years, 2.31 ERA, 422 saves
- Rube Walker (1946) MLB pitching coach (1965–84)
- Brett Wallace (2008)
- P.J. Walters (2007)
- Alan Wiggins (1978)
- Jimy Williams (MGR 1974) MLB: (1986–2004) MGR Toronto, Boston, Houston; 1,052 wins
- Claude Willoughby (1936–37)
- Kolten Wong (.335, 2011)
- Clyde Wright (1965) MLB AS. 22 wins 1970
All 20th Century Team
In 2000, fans selected the All 20th Century Team, which was voted on and results announced at the season's end.
1st Base: Don Mincher (1958) 2nd Base: Jerry Remy (1973) Shortstop: Shawon Dunston (1983) 3rd Base: Carney Lansford (1976) Catcher: Brian Harper (1978) OF: Harvey Kuenn (1952) OF: Dante Bichette (1985) OF: Chad Curtis (1990) Utility: Nick Etten (1933)
Closer: Saul Rivera (1999)
Manager: Chuck Tanner (1963–64)
Quad Cities River Bandits roster
- "Minor League Baseball History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- John Fitzpatrick Minor League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com
- Rask, Tim; Baseball at John O'Donnell Stadium (2004) Arcadia Publishing;ISBN0-7385-3247-9
- "1946 Davenport Cubs Statistics - Minor Leagues". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "pre-1960s | MiLB.com About | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "1952 Davenport Tigers Statistics - Minor Leagues". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "1959 Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- A field of history
- Q-C reaches 50 years in the Midwest League
- 1960 Midwest League Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
- Era comes to close for Q-C minor league baseball
- 1971 Quad Cities Angels Statistics - Minor Leagues - Baseball-Reference.com
- Dinda, Joel. "Davenport, Iowa, in the Midwest League". Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- Bierl, Matt (July 31, 2013). "Vasquez, Borchering lift Bandits to walk off win". Quad Cities River Bandits. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Quad Cities River Bandits (press release) (2007-12-13). "The Fans Have Spoken: 'River Bandits' Returns to the Quad Cities".
- Batterson, Steve (2006-12-29). "Florida Group Buys Swing of Q-C". Quad-City Times.
- Swing of the Quad Cities (press release) (2007-11-29). "It's official: Main Street Iowa completes purchase of Swing".
- "Jewel of the Quad Cities". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Main Street Communications | Baseball
- Johnny Cash Live Performances
- john o'donnell stadium [Classic Rock Concerts]
- Flashback: Michael Nunn vs. James Toney | The Boxing Magazine.com
- Batterson, Steve (17 March 2011). "Bandits adding HD video board at ballpark". Quad City Times.
- "Davenport's Modern Woodmen Park". MWLguide.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Swing of the Quad Cities. "From the QCA to the Big Leagues". 2005 Souvenir Program. pp. 51–52.
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