River Bandits making baseball history
Baseball history is being made in the Quad Cities this season, and it’s bringing River Bandits fans to Davenport from near and far.
For the first time, two consecutive top overall draft picks are playing for the same minor league team.
Fresh from inking a $6.3 million deal with the Houston Astros as this year’s top pick, pitcher Mark Appel made his second home start for the Bandits Wednesday night.
“It’s pretty big, because when’s the next time you’ll get to meet a number one draft pick of any sport?” said fan Joe Searl.
Appel was joined on the field by shortstop Carlos Correa, the top overall pick in 2012.
“Baseball fans that understand how big of a deal it is, they were lined up and waiting for them. The last time that Appel pitched at home, Correa was actually at the Future’s game, so this is the first time that they’ve both been on the same field at home,” said Stefanie Brown, executive director of Modern Woodmen Park.
For some fans, the pair are a big enough to deal to warrant a drive all the way from Minnesota.
“We looked online and saw what a cool park it was… and the Bandits have some top draft picks to come watch,” said visitor Jeff Lamke.
Lamke’s wife was even lucky enough to score Correa’s signature.
“I told my husband to hold my wedding ring so I could flirt with him a little bit to get his autograph,” laughed Karri Lamke.
Correa and Appel’s time in the Quad Cities could be short-lived, but fans hope someday their autographs will be worth something.
“I hope they make it big. That’d be cool,” said Vince O’Meara.
Both Correa and Appel will be signing autographs together following Thursday night’s doubleheader at Modern Woodmen.