Baseballs are sure to be flying out of the yard at Modern Woodmen Park on August 23, but this time it will not be the River Bandits putting on the power display.
While the River Bandits travel the Midwest League in pursuit of a spot in the post-season, a group of former major league sluggers will head to the Quad Cities as Modern Woodmen Park hosts its first-ever Legends Home Run Derby, an event that will also include autograph signings, a raffle, and a charity auction.
"This is going to be a fantastic day," said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. "The list of players is an impressive one filled with guys that used to terrorize major league pitching. These are the guys so many of us watched when we were growing up - and now they're going to be smacking home runs right here in the Quad Cities! Best of all, our fans will not only be able to watch them launch balls into the Mississippi River, they will also be able to meet them and get autographs."
The lineup of players participating in the derby is highlighted by former Cardinals' playoff hero Jack Clark, a four-time All-Star with 340 career home runs. Clark is famous for his ninth-inning bomb in game six of the 1985 National League Championship Series that sent St. Louis to the World Series. Pedro Guerrero, who spent five years with the Cardinals but is best remembered for sharing a three-way tie for the 1981 World Series MVP when he was with the Dodgers, will also be on hand, as will former Cubs' outfielder Brian McRae.
Perhaps the biggest hitter at the event will be Darrell Evans, a third baseman who clubbed 414 career longballs and swatted double-digit homers for an astounding 19 consecutive seasons from 1971-1989. Rounding out the list are former outfielders Kevin Bass and Mike Devereaux, who was part of the Atlanta Braves championship squad in 1995.
Pitching to the sluggers will be former Reds and Brewers hurler Ron Robinson, while former Tigers pitcher Jon Warden will serve as the emcee for the event.
"We have been actively seeking events like this to keep the fun going on at Modern Woodmen Park while the team is on the road," said River Bandits Vice President/General Manager Kirk Goodman. "We are proud to give our fans the opportunity to meet real major league all-stars up close, and the series of activities involved in the event are very exciting for baseball fans."
Doors will open for the event at 3:00 p.m. and the festivities will begin with a raffle and silent auction. The players will be available for a free public autograph signing from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., but fans will want to make sure to arrive early. The first 400 people in the autograph line will receive a free lithograph drawing of the players commissioned by sports artist Ed West, which will be the only item signed by the players. The home run derby will begin at 6:00 p.m., after which the night will wind down with a free showing of the movie "Field of Dreams" on the video board at 8:00 p.m.
In addition to all of the ballplayers, author Billy Staples will be at Modern Woodmen Park. His new book, "Before the Glory," features first-hand accounts from 20 of baseball's greatest players, detailing their rise from anonymous upbringings to famed major league careers.
Tickets to the event are $15 for adults and $12 for kids under the age of 12.
UP NEXT: The River Bandits wind down the homestand on a busy U.S. Bank Family Sunday that will also include a baseball giveaway and Bark in the Park, giving fans the opportunity to bring their dogs out to the ballpark. Bandit Wear featuring the new team name and logo is currently available by visiting the Modern Woodmen Park team store, and prorated versions of season ticket packages, mini-packages, and the popular You-Pick-10 Plan are on sale at the park or by calling (563) 3-BANDITS!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.