|The start of the celebration|
It was a season of firsts. Here is my list:
First to join the team who wasn't on the original roster: Virgil Hill on April 11.
First pitcher to be promoted: RHP Chris Corrigan on April 28.
First position player to be promoted: OF Kyle Conley on May 4.
First game rained out: April 7 - Opening Day.
First win at home: April 8 - Andrew Moss with the win, Justin Wright with the save over Beloit.
First double header: April 9 in make up of the rain out on April 7.
First loss at home: April 9, game 2. Hector Corpas took the loss against Beloit.
First road win: April 10 at Kane County. Kevin Siegrist got the win.
First loss on the road: April 12 at Kane County. Hector Corpas with the loss.
First series sweep to win: May 10-12 at home over Clinton. Seth Blair, Wright, and Siegrist with the wins.
First player released from the roster: Andrew Moss on May 4.
First home run: April 9 by Oscar Taveras.
First (lowest) ERA among starters: 1.15 by Kevin Siegrist.
First (highest) Batting Average: Oscar Taveras at .386 before the adjustment.
First (most) at bats: Jonathan Rodriguez with 394.
First (most) stolen bases: Ronny Gil with 18.
First (most) games appeared in by a pitcher: Angel DeJesus with 42.
First (most) games started by a pitcher: Zack Russell with 23.
First complete game: Trevor Rosenthal on September 10 against Kane County.
First (most) saves: 11 by Aidan Lucas.
First (most) innings pitched: Anthony Ferrara with 127.2.
First (fewest) hits allowed by a full-season starter: Seth Blair with 79 in 81.2 innings.
First (fewest) walks allowed by a full-season starter: Trevor Rosenthal with 39 in 120.1 innings.
First Bandits game played in Busch Stadium: May 26. Carlos Martinez took the loss against Kane County.
First Bandits team to get past the first round of playoffs and first team to win a championship in this century: The 2011 Quad Cities River Bandits.
A few other factoids:
Dayton (.264) and Peoria (.262) each had better team batting averages than the Bandits (.261). Peoria did not make the playoffs.
Dayton (696) and Lansing (691) each scored more runs than the Bandits (687) for the season.
The Bandits had more doubles than any other Midwest League team this year with 281.
Bowling Green (1814) accumulated more total bases on the year than the Bandits (1810).
The Bandits drew more walks than any other team (550).
Quad Cities had the best OPS in the league at .741, the best slugging percentage at .395 and the best OBP at .346.
Dayton (83) won more games than the Bandits (81).
At 1037, the Bandits yielded fewer hits than any other team. They allowed 12 more runs than Dayton.
QC and Burlington had the lowest WHIP at 1.24.
As I write this report, Fall is starting and many are moving on to football as the sport of choice. I'm not ready for that yet. I'm shifting my attention to MLB and counting the days until opening day when the Bandits take the field in April. As of today (September 24), it is 196 days until life returns to normal.
Just before the season started, this community lost one of our best. Greg Wallace (AutobodyCAD) won his battle with this life and headed to the next one in early March. I spent a lot of time this year missing a guy who I never actually met. Many warm evenings, I imagined that he was there, cheering the Bandits with me. This will be my last mention of him here as I close this season of writing with my last dedication to him. Greg, we will miss you for a long, long time and we look forward to the day we can all watch baseball together again. Your encouragement remains and we are grateful.
Thank you to each of the young men who played here this summer. Thank you to Johnny Rodriguez and his staff for leading them and teaching them and helping them get promoted. Thank you for reading these columns each week and for giving me the great privilege of writing.
Bring on 2012!
Link to master article with all 2011 award winners, team recaps and article schedules.
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