A championship celebration will extend throughout the 2018 season for Quad-Cities River Bandits fans.
With the River Bandits winning their third Midwest League championship in seven seasons and with nine former Quad-Cities players on the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning team in 2017, there will be plenty of championship memorabilia for fans to collect at River Bandits games this year.
"We have a lot of reasons to celebrate, and that will be a theme throughout the season," River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser said.
Replicas of the Midwest League championship rings that players on last season’s Quad-Cities team will be presented next month during spring training will be given away to fans attending the River Bandits’ April 5 season opener against Cedar Rapids at Modern Woodmen Park.
On May 26 and July 6, fans in the Quad-Cities will receive Astros World Series replica rings, matching those that will be presented to Houston players later this spring.
Other giveaways with championship themes include pennants on April 6, flags on April 28, logo baseballs on May 23 and July 19 and T-shirts on July 21.
The River Bandits’ annual bobblehead series will feature the likenesses of five Astros who played for Quad-Cities as well, honoring George Springer on May 12, Alex Bregman on June 16, Carlos Correa on June 23, Lance McCullers on July 7 and Evan Gattis on Aug. 18.
"We’re excited to recognize the contributions of our former players who helped the Astros with a World Series last year," Chesser said.
The River Bandits unveiled additional promotions on Wednesday as well, including 17 fireworks displays, including all 11 Friday home games; a bobble bus giveaway on June 2; helicopter drops of toy cars on June 3 and candy on Sept. 1; a series of pint glass giveaways on April 27, June 22 and July 8; and a series of used car giveaways at five Wednesday home games.
Fans will also have the chance to receive River Bandits caps on June 14, backpacks on Aug. 11 and foam fingers on Aug. 17, as well as mini-fridges on June 17.
Pro wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts will appear — complete with his snake — on May 24, Dueling Pianos will perform on June 21, and the River Bandits will host the annual Faith & Fellowship Night on June 24, Black & Brave Wrestling Night on June 27, Super Heroes Night on July 20 and Star Wars Night on July 21.
Weekly promotions include discount beverage nights at Tuesday and Thursday home games; discount brats, premium brews and soda pop on Mondays; and Family Sundays including team autographs, bark in the park and a chance for kids to run the bases following games.
"We feel like there is a little something for everyone," Chesser said, "and a great chance to celebrate."