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Quad City Angels

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In 1985 the Quad Cities Cubs became the Quad City Angels. The Midwest League California Angels affiliate played their games in John O'Donnell Stadium in Davenport, IA. The Quad City part of the name derives from the team's proximity to and fan base in Moline, IL, Rock Island, IL and Bettendorf, IA.

Quad City was 66-74 for manager Bill Lachemann in their first year with the Angels and were outscored 673-642. OF-1B Dante Bichette (.255/~.297/.391, 25 SB) led the team with 11 HR (tied with Jeff Manto, who hit just .197/~.315/.378 as an outfielder) and 78 RBI, while Pete Coachman (.264/~.354/.325) led the league with 69 SB; the team's 198 swipes were two off of the league lead. Willie Fraser was 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 starts. The Angels had a bad year in 1986, going 62-78 for Lachemann and being outscored 649-589. Jeff Manto (.247/~.348/.397) and Bobby Rose (.252/~.343/.363) formed the left side of the infield, while Chuck Finley was 1-0 with six saves, no runs and only 4 hits allowed in 10 relief appearances. 2B Kenny Grant (.263/.417/.380, 19 SB) led the MWL in both OBP and walks (95). OF Paul Sorrento teed off on opposing pitchers in 53 games, hitting .356/~.433/.542.

Things got worse in 1987, going 47-91, worst in the MWL and they were outscored 778-537. The team had a future big-league star, Roberto Hernández (2-3, 6.86).

The next season was a slight improvement for Eddie Rodriguez's charges. They were 60-79, 10th in the 14-team MWL. Hernandez returned and went 9-10 with a 3.17 ERA while Gary Buckels went 14-3 with 6 saves and a 3.16 ERA out of the bullpen and struck out 109 batters (with 29 walks) in 79 and 2/3 innings. Wiley Lee led the team with a .302 average while Bobby Rose (.284/~.391/.424) made the All-Star team at third and led the club with 13 homers, 78 RBI and 78 walks. An interesting note of the 1988 season is the unexplained disappearance of the team's athletic trainer Jerome C. Donnelly after just one game. Donnelly, two years prior, was recruited by the Portland Beavers' Jack Caine as a trainer for the Bend Phillies of the Northwest League.

Quad City kept improving and went 72-63, good for 6th place in 1989. Ruben Amaro Jr. hit .360/~.471/.490 with 20 steals in 59 games. The team had two of the league's top 10 prospects - Glenn Carter (15-6, 2.05, 109 hits, 190 K in 167 innings) led the league in strikeouts and was 4th in ERA and named to the All-Star team while Kyle Abbott went 5-4 with a 2.57 ERA and fanned 95 in 74 innings.

The improvement continued in 1990 as Don Long replaced Rodriguez as manager. The club went 81-59, the second-best record, and won the second-half Southern Division title (45-25). They then took 5 of 6 playoff games though it was highly controversial as one of the key players was Jim Aylward, who had not been on the team all year long but was sent down as a ringer for the playoffs. Such moves became more common in the minors as the decade progressed. Long was named Manager of the Year in the Midwest League. The club had the league's two All-Star middle infielders. 2B Chad Curtis hit .307/.390/.453 and stole 64 bases; he led the MWL in hits (151), total bases (223) and OBP. SS Damion Easley was named the #10 prospect in the league by Baseball America after a .274/~347/.425 year with 25 steals. The starting pitching staff was led by Fili Martinez (12-7, 2.57,a league-high 195 strikeouts) and Marcus Moore (16-5, 3.31, the league leader in wins). Mike Hook was 6-3 with 7 saves and a 1.89 ERA in 30 relief appearances, allowing just 18 hits and striking out 66 to make the All-Star team as the lefty reliever.

In 1991 the Angels led the league in attendance (242,322) and they went 74-63, 5th in the league. They missed the first-half southern division title by two games. Jeff Kipila was named to the All-Star team at DH as he had hit .274/~.366/.496 with 35 doubles and 18 homers. Garret Anderson was named the #8 prospect in the league by Baseball America after a mediocre .260/~.296/.342 year. Anderson clearly would develop enough to make the #8 slot seem like an underrating. Mitch Seoane was the new manager that season as Long was promoted to AA.

The next season the team changed their name to the Quad City River Bandits.

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach
1985 66-74 8th (t) Bill Lachemann Eddie Rodriguez
1986 62-78 10th Bill Lachemann Eddie Rodriguez
1987 47-91 12th Eddie Rodriguez Don Long Gary Ruby
1988 60-79 10th Eddie Rodriguez Don Long Mike Couchee
1989 72-63 6th Eddie Rodriguez Don Long/Orv Franchuk Joe Georger
1990 81-59 2nd Don Long League Champs Mitch Seoane Joe Georger
1991 74-63 5th Mitch Seoane Matt Hyde Joe Georger
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