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River Bandits Invited to Become a Kansas City Royals Affiliate

December 9, 2020 - Midwest League (MWL) - Quad Cities River Bandits News Release

Davenport, Iowa - U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Ia) who, together with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Ia), worked tirelessly to help save professional affiliated baseball in the Quad Cities, and Major League Baseball announced today that the Quad Cities River Bandits and eleven other Midwest League teams will be moving up one level of play, as the team and the league have been promoted from Single-A to Advanced-A baseball. That puts Quad Cities players just below Double-A and one step closer to the major leagues.

The River Bandits also announced today the team has been invited to become the Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The team will be receiving a long-term Player Development License from Major League Baseball sometime in the next two weeks. Unlike previous affiliations, the Bandits' agreement with the Royals will last at least five years. Bleacher Report lists the Royals as having one of the Top Ten farm systems in baseball.

"Moving up to Advanced-A and securing a long-term affiliation with the Kansas City Royals will be the best thing to happen to baseball in the Quad Cities since the renovation of Modern Woodmen Park" said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. "Having Advanced-A baseball in the Quad Cities means the players who come through our ballpark are markedly more likely to reach the major leagues. It's a higher level of play, with better pitchers and better hitters and more experienced players. And there is no better organization in baseball than the Kansas City Royals, no one with whom we would rather affiliate. Dayton Moore, J.J. Picollo, Scott Sharp - they are the best. They do things the right way, treat people the right way. And they have a proven record building a World Series Champion. All of us in the Quad Cities who love baseball are extremely grateful to Senators Grassley and Ernst for all of their hard work. We can't wait to welcome everyone in the Royals organization to the Quad Cities."

"I am excited that the Quad Cities River Bandits have been invited to become an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals," said Senator Grassley. "I fondly remember going to Minor League Baseball games growing up. I am thrilled that the Quad Cities area will continue to enjoy America's national pastime affiliated with such a quality team."

The Quad Cities franchise joined the Midwest League in 1960. The affiliation with the Royals marks a welcome return to having a Midwest-based MLB parent club. In addition to the Royals, the team's major league affiliates have included the Milwaukee Braves (1960-1961), Los Angeles and California Angels (1962- 1978, 1985-1992), Chicago Cubs (1979-1984), Houston Astros (1993-1998, 2013-2020), Minnesota Twins (1999-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2005-2012).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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