Tony Funderburg, the man who originally gave us the outrageous food offerings at Gateway Grizzlies games, is the new president of the River City Rascals, with Steve Malliet kicked up to the owners' suite.
Tony Funderburg, the man who originally gave us the outrageous food offerings at Gateway Grizzlies (independent; Frontier League) games, is the new president of the River City Rascals (independent; Frontier League). As Funderburg joins the Rascals, current President and owner Steve Malliet will step down as president and act only in an ownership capacity. Malliet is the currently the managing partner for both the Rascals and the Normal CornBelters (independent; Frontier League).
Funderburg joins the Rascals after most recently serving as the Director of Business Development for Gateway International Raceway in Madison, IL. Before taking on his role with Gateway International Raceway, the O'Fallon, MO native was the Chief Operating Officer of the Reno Bighorns, an NBA Development League (NBDL) expansion team in Reno, NV.
Funderburg became a household name well before his time spent in NASCAR and the NBA D-League. Leading the Gateway Grizzlies (Frontier League) for over five years as the team’s General Manager, the Grizzlies were named "Organization of The Year" in 2003 and 2006 while on their way to setting multiple attendance records, including being the first team in league history to eclipse 200,000 fans in a season in 2004.
The master mind behind the successful "Baseball's Best" line of concession items, Funderburg also earned Frontier League "Executive of The Year" in 2003, 2005, and 2007. His success did not stop with the front office. During his time with the Grizzlies the team captured the Frontier League Championship in 2003, and West Division titles in '03 and 2007, making the playoffs a total of three times during his tenure.
"I greatly enjoyed my time with the Grizzlies and I am proud of the success we had." Funderburg said. "Now I look forward to continuing that success with the Rascals." Funderburg currently resides in Freeburg, IL with his wife Cathie and three children Will, Landon, and Nolan but the Rascals play in his hometown of O'Fallon, MO where he began his career with the Rascals as a stadium operations intern.
“To be able to return to O’Fallon and lead the Rascals is exciting,” Funderburg said. “I cannot wait to work with Chris Franklin and the rest of the staff to keep the Rascals as one of the premiere organizations in the Frontier League and Independent baseball. Not many people get to go home again. I am thrilled to be returning to where it all began for me.”
"We are thrilled to have Tony join our staff in River City," Malliet said. "He is a proven baseball executive and has tremendous local ties. I feel we have one of the strongest front office management teams in all of minor league baseball with Chris Franklin as our GM and Tony Funderburg as President. The two of them together are going to be dynamic."
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