Four months from today, the first pitch of a season-long celebration will be thrown at Davenport’s Modern Woodmen Park.
Beginning with an April 5 season opener against Cedar Rapids, the Quad-Cities River Bandits plan to celebrate the club’s 2017 Midwest League championship and the World Series title won by the organization’s major-league parent club, the Houston Astros.
“This has been a great year and we have a lot of reasons to celebrate,’’ River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser said. “We’re making plans to do that throughout the year.’’
Quad-Cities opens its 70-game home schedule with a two-game series on April 5-6 against the Kernels, a team the River Bandits defeated in the Western Division championship series in September.
Chesser said Quad-Cities will stick with a 6:35 p.m. start time for most home games, an experiment a year ago which met with positive fan feedback.
“It was something we tried and for families, it really seemed to work well,’’ Chesser said.
Quad-Cities’ 10 Sunday home games will continue to start at 1:15 p.m. during April and will shift to a 5:15 p.m. time for the remainder of the season.
The River Bandits’ schedule for the 2018 season includes 11 Friday and 11 Saturday home dates, the same number of games Quad-Cities hosted during the 2017 season.
Quad-Cities will host the Fort Wayne team it swept in the Midwest League championship series during a May homestand and for the first time in two seasons, Cubs-affiliated South Bend will visit the River Bandits on July 18-20.
Chesser said familiar promotions such as weekly fireworks, giveaways and beverage specials will continue, with details to be finalized as the season approaches.
The River Bandits will be home on all three of the major summer holidays for the second straight year, hosting Peoria on Memorial Day and Labor Day and Beloit on Independence Day.
Fans will also get a chance to see plenty of baseball in the Quad-Cities during the month of June.
In one of the quirks of the upcoming season’s schedule, the River Bandits will play the final six games of the opening half of the season and the first seven games of the second half of the schedule at home.
The string of 13 home games is split by the league’s all-star game, scheduled to be played in Michigan on June 19.
That leads to some lengthy road trips, six- and seven-day trips during May and a 10-game, 11-day trip in late August prior to the Labor Day weekend series with Peoria.
River Bandits season tickets, mini-ticket plans and kid’s club memberships for the 2018 season are also now available during regular business hours at Modern Woodmen Park.