Spinners Front Office
The Lowell Spinners are proud to serve the community of the Greater Merrimack Valley and the region of Southern New Hampshire. Since our inception in 1996, we have been dedicated to bringing affordable family entertainment to over three million (that's 3,000,000!) fans. We invite you to come and join us at beautiful LeLacheur Park as we continue our voyage "On The Road To Fenway". In 2019 the Spinners will celebrate their 24th season in the Merrimack Valley!
More recently, the team was nominated for Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Month for their Pete Frates Bobble Ice Bucket Giveaway/ALS Awareness Night. In 2013, the Spinners were awarded the Minor League Baseball Golden Bobble Head Award for the "Best Theme Night" Promotion in all of Minor League Baseball for their Military Hero Card Set promotion. In 2010, the Spinners staff were the winners of the NY-Penn League nomination for Minor League Baseball's Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy. They were also named the winners of the NY-Penn League's MacPhail nomination in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2010, while earning the NYPL's Pinckney Award nomination in 2011. Most notably, the staff was honored with Baseball America's Freitas Award and Minor League Baseball's MacPhail Promotional Trophy, and The Boston Baseball Writer's Achievement Award in the year 2000. The Spinners front office staff helped set a new franchise attendance record in 2010 when 202,209 fans showed up (it didn't hurt that we played one game at Fenway Park, but we'll take it).
The Lowell Spinners are dedicated to creating lifelong memories in a family oriented environment at affordable prices, ensuring safety, cleanliness and customer service through Minor League Professional Baseball.
Here's Our Starting Lineup...
Dave Heller is the president and CEO of Main Street Baseball, LLC, and the majority owner and Managing Partner of four affiliated minor league baseball teams: the Quad Cities River Bandits (Midwest League, Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros), the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League, Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals), the Billings Mustangs (Pioneer League, short-season affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) and, most recently, the Lowell Spinners (New York - Penn League, short-season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox).
In 2016, Main Street Baseball was awarded Ballpark Digest's coveted "Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year" honor - one of the industry's highest honors.
Heller's teams are known primarily for three things: fun, innovative promotions; making significant ballpark improvements benefiting both fans and players; and giving back generously to each club's home community.
In the Quad Cities, since Heller took over, the River Bandits have sparked a stunning resurgence of baseball, winning two league championships in the past five seasons, repeatedly setting the all-time per-game attendance record (they've had affiliated baseball since 1931!) and capturing numerous awards for innovative promotions and ballpark improvements.
Within a month of purchasing the Bandits, Heller sold naming rights to Modern Woodmen of America; nine years later, MWA extended their deal through 2027. Since then, Modern Woodmen Park has earned as many accolades as any ballpark in the country. It was voted "best minor league ballpark" by the readers of USA Today and 10Best.com and the Midwest League's best ballpark by Baseball America. It earned a 5-star rating from Ballpark Digest and in 2015 their readers voted it the best ballpark in Single-A baseball. It was also named one of the two most beautiful ballparks in the minors by USA Today, one of the top 10 by Parade Magazine, and "the #2 Coolest Minor League Ballpark in America" by Complex Magazine.
Under Heller's leadership, the River Bandits have added many fun new features to the ballpark, including two outfield bars, five concourse-level "loge boxes," an 80-foot long high-definition ribbon-board, a 20' x 36' HD videoboard, playground and a birthday/game room ringed with ten X-Box and PS4 stations. The team has also added new concessions stands and portable food carts, a triple suite, a Hall of Fame autographed jersey display, an unmatched collection of minor league bobbleheads, a permanent home for the Quad-Cities Sports Hall of Fame and a (sponsored) corn field from where the players are introduced at the game's outset (after all, it is Iowa)!
Heller also helped design and finance the spectacular Budweiser "Champions Club," a large, multi-purpose banquet hall with glass garage doors that open/close based on the weather. That room helped the club increase wedding business by more than 1,000% and was voted by Ballpark Digest as "the best ballpark renovation under $1 million."
In 2014, the Bandits unveiled their biggest improvement ever - the addition of a new 105-foot tall Ferris wheel, the first Ferris wheel in Minor League Baseball! That ride has already transformed the Quad Cities' skyline and become an iconic part of downtown Davenport - and it, too, was named by Ballpark Digest as "the nation's best ballpark improvement" (the fourth time in seven years Main Street Baseball earned that award!). This season, the Bandits added more than $1.5 million worth of new rides to the ballpark, including a spinning kids' coaster, two new thrill rides, a kiddie train and Iowa's first-ever double-decker carousel - with all of the proceeds from the latter four rides going to benefit underprivileged children in the Quad Cities.
The team has also added an expanded children's play area featuring four new amusement rides, including spinning bumper cars, a swinging pirate ship and a 30-foot tall Drop-N-Twist to go with a myriad of bounce houses. And it unveiled two new group areas: 50 new swivel-seats abutting the home bullpen as part of a new three-level group area and 18 seats adjacent to the visitor's dugout, as well as a special group of seats set aside for our nation's veterans (the Hon. Lane Evans Patriot Seats). Most recently, the Bandits added an 11,000 square foot expansion of the third-base concourse. Heller has also improved the "back of the house," adding two new large storage spaces, renovating both the home and visitors' clubhouses, redoing the playing field and irrigation system, adding new protective netting beyond the ends of the dugouts, expanding the club's kitchen facilities and, in 2017, making Modern Woodmen Park the first Single-A ballpark in the country to install new, energy-efficient LED lights along with new light poles.
Since taking over the Bandits, sponsorship sales, suite sales, ticket sales, and concession sales have all seen annual increases; in 2015, the team set an all-time record for group sales and in 2016 the team set an all-time record for sponsorship sales. Average attendance under Main Street rose by more than 56% in its first year, the largest such increase in baseball, and has since climbed to nearly 4,000 fans per game, the highest ever seen in the Quad Cities. The Bandits also led one of sports' most successful rebranding campaigns - merchandise sales after the 2008 rebranding increased more than 400%, sponsorships jumped more than 64%, and CNBC named the team's logo one of the top caps in minor league baseball. In 2014, the team's home cap was voted the best cap in Single-A baseball.
The River Bandits have been voted Best Family Entertainment by the Quad-City Times for each of the past seven years and were voted by the River Cities Reader as "The Best Place for an Inexpensive Date that Doesn't Look Like It." The team won the prestigious "Golden Bobblehead" award in 2013 for best charitable promotion in Minor League Baseball for its Autism Awareness Night. In 2015, it won a "Bizzie Award" from MiLB for adding the Ferris wheel and other amusement rides. It also won a "Veeckie Award" from ESPN in 2009 for best minor league promotion ("Tattoo Night") and the "Promotion of the Year" Award from Ballpark Digest for the "Mega-Candy Drop."
Heller and the River Bandits love giving back to the community; the team donated more than $1 million in the last two years alone to area charities and needy recipients and has won multiple Gold Awards from the U.S. Army for its community service. In 2009, the team started its "Bandit Scholars" program, which paid an entire year's college tuition for one area student. Today, the team funds three such scholarships - one each for St. Ambrose University, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and Augustana University - valued at about $80,000 annually. It is in midst of a five-year $250,000 cash grant to the Genesis Foundation to help fund neo-natal intensive care units and free flu vaccinations. In 2016, Heller and the Bandits' staff logged more than 1200 hours of community volunteering. In 2015, Ballpark Digest honored the River Bandits with an award for the nation's "Best Charity Work."
The Billings Mustangs have also been tremendously successful. In 2014, the team won the Pioneer League Championship, finished second in attendance. Since Heller purchased the club, it has consistently been first or second in Pioneer League attendance. In 2015, 2016, and again in 2017, the team saw increases in literally every area - from attendance to corporate sponsorships to concessions and merchandise sales to in-game promotions! The club also added a new 300-foot long zip-line, visible from home plate, to the ballpark - the first of its kind in Minor League Baseball! Heller recently completed negotiations on a new 10-year lease extension with the City, securing the Mustangs' future through 2026.
The team has also earned its share of honors. Its General Manager, Gary Roller, was named Pioneer League Executive of the Year in 2014. In 2016, the Mustangs were the Pioneer League's nominee for the John Henry Moss award for charitable work and Ballpark Digest voted the Mustangs' home, Dehler Park, "the best minor league ballpark in Rookie Ball." In 2017, the team won the Pioneer League's award for best field.
Heller's third club, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, is regarded as one of the Carolina League's premier franchises. Its ballpark, Frawley Stadium, in 2015 was voted best ballpark in Advanced-A baseball by readers of Ballpark Digest. That club is also consistently among the league leaders in attendance and sponsorships - and set new records for each in 2016. In 2015, the team won Ballpark Digest's award for Best New Food Item.
In 2016, Heller negotiated a five-year lease extension for the Blue Rocks. That year, the Blue Rocks won three (out of six) league-wide awards: Marketing & Promotions, Community Service and Female Executive of the Year. They are also improving their venue: In 2016, the Rocks replaced all of the seats in Frawley Stadium and made more than $500,000 worth of structural improvements to the park; this year, the team upgraded the concourse flooring, expanded the Batter's Eye, added new flooring in the dugouts and will become the first Advanced-A ballpark in the country to add new energy-efficient LED lights. Next season, the team will be purchasing a giant new state-of-the-art videoboard.
The Blue Rocks also give back: in 2014, 2015 and again in 2016, the club earned the prestigious Matt Minker Award from fellow Carolina League members for its charitable work throughout the Delaware.
Heller's newest club is the Lowell Spinners, a Boston Red Sox affiliate based in Lowell, Mass, which he purchased in June, 2016. The following year, Ballpark Digest voted its ballpark, LeLacheur Park, "best short-season minor league ballpark." The Spinners draw nearly 4,000 fans per game, putting it among the league's leaders in attendance. In 2016, Heller added new protective netting beyond the ends of the dugouts, a second batting tunnel and brought the first amusement ride to Lowell - a new swinging pirate ship. He improved the children's play area and added a second ride for 2017.
As in Billings, Heller negotiated a new 10-year lease extension in Lowell, significantly reducing the team's rent while adding $1.7 million in new improvements to LeLacheur Park. That ballpark will soon become the first short-season club to boast new LED field lights and will be installing a new playing surface. A concourse expansion featuring a new two-tiered group area is already in the works for 2018.
In addition to his work in baseball, Heller is one of the Democratic Party's top media consultants and campaign strategists. As president of Main Street Communications, an award-winning political media firm, he has compiled the best won-loss record in the Democratic Party helping clients win election to Congress. His clients have won 15 out of 19 general election open seat races for Congress (open seats being the most contested races). He has also repeatedly won in some of the nation's toughest House districts, including now-U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in 2010, (now retired) U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), who won in a completely redrawn R+13 district in 2012, and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who today represents the nation's "reddest" district to be won by a Democrat. In 2016, Heller also wrote and produced all of the media for the new mayor of his home town of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh (D), who came from behind to win a hard-fought campaign.
Heller currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Davenport Partnership in the Quad Cities and the Lowell Plan in Lowell, MA. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Brown University and earned a Master's Degree in Politics from Oxford University (Nuffield College), where he earned an Overseas Research Scholarship. He went on to Yale University, where he completed his Master's thesis and taught his own undergraduate seminar on 20th Century American politics, before moving to Washington, D.C. Growing up in Baltimore, Heller and his wife June live in Davenport, Iowa, with their two sons, Dylan (9) and Cade (7).
Shawn H. Smith is the General Manager of the Lowell Spinners, the only Minor League Baseball team within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Shawn joined the Spinners in the spring of 2016, when Main Street was finalizing its purchase of the club. One of the most respected voices in the game, Smith has been a stabilizing force in the community while providing a strategic approach and dedicated focus toward group sales, integrated marketing partnerships, the fan experience, and exceptional customer service.
Prior to joining Main Street Baseball, Shawn served seven years as the Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of the NBA Development League, the official minor league system of the NBA. There he was responsible for the day-to-day business operations of the league as well as collaborative ventures in all marketing tactics, broadcast and digital programming/content, marketing partnerships, team business development, international efforts, and league expansion initiatives.
Shawn also spearheaded the property's digital strategy of utilizing affordable technology to distribute and monetize full game, highlights, vignettes, and behind the scenes high definition content via digital and broadcast resources. In that role, he significantly grew the League's digital impressions and deepened its relationships and programming options with its national broadcast partners.
He also spent two years with the NBA as a Vice President in the NBA's lauded Team Marketing and Business Operations (TMBO) division, advising NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League teams on how to grow all business aspects of their operations.
For fifteen years prior to joining the NBA, Smith served as team President and/or General Manager of minor league teams within the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros organizations. During this period, he was deeply involved in the construction and management of five new ballparks while winning numerous national and local honors for business achievements.
Shawn earned his Masters degree from Syracuse University's prestigious Newhouse School and received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University.
Smith was inducted into Syracuse University's Newhouse Professional Gallery in 2012 and the Providence Day (Charlotte, NC) High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
MLB PLAYER: Mickey Rivers
SONG: My Philosophy (Boogie Down Productions)
MOVIE: The Great Escape
TV Show: American Pickers
QUOTE: "If your heart can believe, and your mind can conceive, your dreams can become reality." -Michael Saunders (iHeart Media, Houston, TX)
ACTOR: Christian Bale
Brian began his baseball career as an intern with the Greenville Braves in 1987. After Greenville his career traveled him through Welland, Ontario with the Welland Pirates, Charleston, West Virginia with the Wheelers, Elmira, New York with the Pioneers, before he relocated with the team when it moved to Lowell. In addition to overseeing the team's concessions operations and game day staff, Brian oversees the Spinners corporate partnerships, ticket sales and group sales.
He resides in Hudson, New Hampshire with his wife, Joanne, and their six children: Shannon, Tristan, Erin, Caitlin, Madailein and Darian. He enjoys spending time with his family and is actively involved with his church, St. Kathryn's Parish, and the Special Olympics.
MLB PLAYER: Jerry Koosman
FOOD: Anything but mushrooms
SONG: Anything by John Valby
MOVIE: Saving Private Ryan
QUOTE: "Its like this...people don't want to go to baseball games. They just want to rent movies, buy my food, and stay at home. Okay, I'll buy an outfield sign." (Andre Champagne)
ACTOR: Tom Hanks
NICKNAME: B Lindsay, B Lindz
Map out a timeline of my life and the years would be punctuated by memories involving sport. Some memories might not appear as significant as others, but each was a brick in the path that led me to a career in the sports industry.
I've been an athlete, competing on teams and individually. Throughout high school and college, I worked in various roles on the publications' staffs. Reporter, photographer, editor, etc. I did a little bit of everything, and loved it. Most recently, I've spent the past four seasons working in Minor League Baseball for the Lowell Spinners in ticket sales, merchandise, community relations and as the team photographer.
I grew up in Kansas and graduated from Pittsburg State University. Go Gorillas!
MLB PLAYER: Bo Jackson
FAVORITE FOOD: Anything with garlic
SONG: "Wrote My Way Out" from Hamilton
MOVIE: Halloween (1978)
ACTOR: Robert Downey, Jr.
QUOTE: "Someone else's success does not take anything away from your own accomplishments."
Priscilla joined the Spinners organization in 1999. Through her career, she has applied her accounting and office management skills in different industries from men's retail clothing store, plumbing, heating, cooling co., to long term care. In addition to handling all the accounting and human resource responsibilities, she is also responsible for the game day financial transactions / and reporting.
In 2010, she was the recipient of the NY Penn League's Joann Weber Female Executive of the Year award.
A native of Nashua - Hudson, NH and a graduate of Newbury College, she resides in Dracut, MA with her Yorkie, "Brady".
She enjoys watching figure skating, baseball, and football. Also in her down time, she enjoys crocheting, reading, walking, and bicycling. She once rolled a high single of 177 and a high triple of 419 in candlepin bowling.
MLB PLAYER: Dustin Pedroia
FOOD: Vanilla Ice Cream w/chocolate topping and whipped cream
SONG: The Best is Yet to Come (Michael Buble)
QUOTE: What goes around comes around
ACTOR: Robert DeNiro
After a 2 year stint with the Stockton Ports (High A Affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) as Group Sales Manager, Riley returned to the Spinners in the fall of 2019 to oversee the teams ticket sales efforts. The 2020 season will be his 3rd in Lowell, but 5th in Minor League Baseball.
During has time as a student at Johnson & Wales University, Riley Spent 3 years with PSE Agency as an operations intern for the Providence Bruins Hockey team. He then started in Lowell in 2016 as a P/R and Marketing intern, and then was a ticket sales and box office associate for the following 2017 season. Shortly after, he joined the Stockton Ports as Group Sales Manager where he lived the "west coast life" for two years.
Excited to be back in Lowell with his friends and family, the Billerica born and raised Robar and Shawsheen Tech Alumni loves routing for all of Boston's Major Sports teams and keeping up with his colleagues and friends throughout the industry.
MLB PLAYER: David Ortiz
FOOD: Submarine Sandwiches
SONG: "Chicken Fried" Zach Brown Band
MOVIE: Avengers Endgame
ACTOR: Mark Wahlberg
QUOTE: "Heroes get remembered but legends never die" - The Great Bambino "Sandlot"
NICKNAME: Robalicious or the Grouperstar
Marketing and Partnerships
Frank enters his second full-time season with the Spinners as the Coordinator of Marketing Partnerships after interning during the 2017 season. Frank graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. He has worked at Gillette Stadium over the past two years and even met Tom Brady once. Frank is a passionate Boston sports fan and is the chairman of "The Sports Tank" a new sports website and outlet. He played football during his time at Husson University and originates from Fall River, Massachusetts.
MLB PLAYER: Rick Porcello
FOOD: Sausage and Cheese Omelette
SONG: "Talladega" - Eric Church
MOVIE: The Town
TV SHOW: Suits
ACTOR: Ben Affleck
QUOTE: "To live in the past is to die in the present." - Bill Belichick
NICKNAME: Frank the Tank
Kristin enters her second season with the Lowell Spinners after starting in May 2018 as the Coordinator of Operations. Kristin graduated from Roger Williams University in 2018 after double majoring in Marketing and Psychology. Aside from baseball, Kristin also loves hockey and has worked for the Boston Bruins affiliate team, the Providence Bruins.
MLB PLAYER: Andrew Benintendi
SONG: "Red Step" - Bassnectar
TV SHOW: Always Sunny in Philadelphia
ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey
QUOTE: "One day you'll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember" - Avicii
Shawn enters his fourth season with the Spinners, and his second as the Director of Merchandise. Prior to this role he interned the past two summers; in his first year with the team he was a Merchandise Associate and most recently worked as a Special Assistant to the General Manager. He is a recent graduate of UMass Amherst.
MLB PLAYER: Dustin Pedroia
SONG: "Furthest Thing" -Drake
MOVIE: Wolf of Wall Street
TV SHOW: Breaking Bad
ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio
QUOTE: "I mean I know I'm gon' get got, but I'm gon' get mine more than I get got doe." - Marshawn Lynch
Erin graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2018, and has worked for the Lowell Spinners since. Erin works as the Coordinator of Creative Services & Entertainment, which consists of designing content for marketing materials as well as overseeing the game-day video board and music components.
FOOD: anything crispy, cheesy, or chocolatey
SONG: Atlas by The Dip
MOVIE: Rear Window
QUOTE: "Always look on the bright side of life." -Eric Idle, Monty Python's Life of Brian
TV SHOW: Arrested Development (seasons 1-3)
ACTOR: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
As the Grounds Manager, I enjoy to be outside getting my hands dirty. Outside of the work you can find me golfing and playing basketball in the summer, and skiing throughout the winter. As well as going back to Germany every chance I get.
SONG: Barfuß am Klavier
MOVIE: Django Unchained