Swing of the Quad Cities Report – April 12

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Swing of the Quad Cities of the Single-A Midwest League from our on-site beat reporter, Jon P.

It has been a week to look forward and to look back here in the Quad Cities. Monday's noon start was exciting just because it was the return of America's game to one of America's most scenic ball parks. Let me start with the look forward. Without too much bias as a Cardinals fan, I just want to say that it is going to be a GREAT team this year! Pitching is top-notch (and I'll get used to the eight-man rotation just in time for it to be changed to a more traditional rotation) and the hitting is looking good, too.

Mike Schellinger (SKELL-in-ger) threw the first pitch at 12:08 pm, a ball to Peter Bourjas from Cedar Rapids. The first out was a short blooper to Brandon Buckman (pictured) at first base. The first foul ball went into the right field picnic area off the bat of Chris Pettit. The first home run of the season was also hit by Pettit, just clearing the fence in left field. The first K of the season was thrown by Schellinger to Matt Sweeney, who went down looking.

The first QC batter was Jim Rapoport who flew out to center field. The first QC hit was a double by Daryl Jones (pictured). The first K for QC was Omar Falcon, who went down swinging. Our first double play was a 4-6-3 (Garcia, Sandoval, Buckman) in the third inning.

So, that's the look forward. For the look back, we're going ALL the way back to May of 1931, the day that John O'Donnell Stadium (formerly Municipal Stadium) opened. On that day a teenage girl named Dorothy attended the game with her dad. That young lady attended her SEVENTY-SIXTH consecutive opening day on Monday. I'll be writing more about Dorothy soon; keep your eyes open for that report and a photograph soon.

On Monday, I also got a chance to chat with Jim Duggleby, President of the Fan Club. I asked what events they have planned for the season. He said that they held a welcome dinner for the guys the first night they were in town and then spent Tuesday helping move them into their apartments. The club cooks breakfast for the players before the away games and makes sure there is food and movies on the bus for any overnight trips. There are currently three players living with host families, another effort of the club.

There are a few other exciting events in the QC for the season. One that I'm especially glad to see is called "Homers for Hearn." Travis Hearn (pictured) is a 17-year-old Rock Island resident whose neck was broken in a football game last fall. The entire QC area has rallied behind him, raising funds for his medical bills. The Swing have partnered with Midwest One Bank to help with the effort. Midwest One has started the pot with $5000. Fans are being asked to make a pledge for each home run hit this season. Last year's total was 90, so a pledge of ten cents would amount to about $9.00, based on last year's numbers. If you're in this area, please support "Homers for Hearn."

A short report this week, due to the fact that Wednesday's game was snowed out. (Another first for the season.)

For the week so far, on the hot list are Schelllinger (throwing in the 90's already), Buckman (after a rough start, his bat is now alive), and Falcon (mainly because I admire catchers.) On the "not hot" list is the weather. Enough said on that…

Jon P. can be reached via email at jon_p_qc@hotmail.com

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