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QC River Bandits’ new jerseys pay homage to Hispanic community

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The River Bandits are adding a uniform to its rotation this season that is meant to celebrate diversity and community. The goal is to make modern woodman park the most inclusive ballpark in the country.

“I think it is important that everyone feel that they are a part of this community and that they are welcome in our ballpark,” said Dave Heller, owner of the River Bandits.

The River Bandits are one of 85 teams participating in Minor League Baseball’s ‘Copa de la Diversion’ campaign and will wear jerseys that pay homage to the Hispanic community.

“These were really the brainchild of our assistant general manager josh Michalsen. He really pushed this idea and we thought it was great, so we went out to our designer, Francis Santiquilani, who designed the original river bandits logo and he did it with a Spanish theme,” Heller said.

The ‘Bandidos del Rio’ logo includes the River Bandits mascot, Rascal, wearing a sombrero and multi-color bandana.

“We don’t want anybody feeling left out, and there is such a great Latin heritage in baseball,” Heller said. “We wanted to celebrate that, and that’s what led to these jerseys.”

The River Bandits are partnering with the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to promote small businesses within the Hispanic community, and its executive director, Janessa Calderon, said she was excited when she heard about the new jerseys.

“Especially bringing them to the quad cities, I know we have a welcoming community here,” Calderon said. “Hearing that they were inspired by the Hispanic culture and want to help out small businesses seemed like a great connection. I think [the jerseys] are great, and I’ve heard so many people in the community who are more than happy to purchase them, and I think they are going to be selling out very quickly.”

The jerseys represent inclusion.

“In this wonderful, two-state, multiple-city community that we live in, Modern Woodman Park is really the one place where people can all come together from all over the region and root for the home team,” Heller said. “We love that we bring everyone together. We want our Latino friends and neighbors to feel a part of that.”

The River Bandits are scheduled to wear their Copa jerseys on the diamond for the first time on April 27 against the South Bend Cubs.

In September, the jerseys will be auctioned off. The River Bandits and Group O, a prominent Hispanic-owned business in the Quad Cities, will decide which charity will receive the money.

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