The Bandits then swept their way through three rounds of post-season action in seven games. It was the city's first title since 1990, long before the Cardinals affiliated with the club and they became known as the River Bandits.
Most of the members of that club and their coaching staff are together in St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida. That provided an opportunity for the organization to hold a ring ceremony to honor them in Roger Dean Stadium this past Sunday afternoon prior to the Cardinals major league game.
The 2011 Bandits staff on hand included manager Johnny Rodriguez, pitching coach Tim Leveque and hitting coach Joe Kruzel. At least 50 players donned the Quad Cities uniform this past season. They included 26 position players and 24 pitchers. One of the latter was rehabbing major leaguer Brian Tallet.Click here to see the final roster. Click here for full team stats.
One prominent Bandits player, in fact, the most valuable pitcher of the post-season, Trevor Rosenthal, was still with the major league club and did not get the word to participate in the ceremony.
"By the time I saw them running out onto the field, it was a little too late," Rosenthal recalled. It was kind of a bummer, but when they were walking off, I was able to gather with them a little bit - guys I hadn't seen too much in the spring.
"I was there the whole year and it was a special thing for our team. I look forward to being with those guys this upcoming year," Rosenthal said.
Executives presiding over the ceremony were farm director John Vuch, Senior Special Assistant to the General Manager Gary LaRocque, Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak and Bandits managing partner Dave Heller (from left to right in the early photos and opposite direction in the later ones).
Thanks to photographer Lisa Fegley and Juan Dorado of the Palm Beach Cardinals, you can sample the ceremony here at The Cardinal Nation.
Pitching coach Leveque
Batting coach Kruzel
Jonathan Rodriguez, Mike O'Neill
Apparently the Bandits' rings were not ready to distribute. It may be better for the vendor to take their time. After the Johnson City ceremony the Sunday prior, the rings had to be returned as they were all made saying "Apply League Champs". Whoops!
Check out the mistake as well as several additional photos added to the earlier Johnson City ceremony article here.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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