Shelby Harris, the 111-year-old Rock Island citizen who threw out the first pitch at the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League) season opener and passed away July 25, will be honored at Wednesday’s game.
Harris passed away at the Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Wednesday, July 25, at the age of 111 years old. He was verified as the oldest man in the United States when he celebrated his 111th birthday March 31, and five days later he threw out the first pitch at this season’s River Bandits home opener.
As a tribute to Harris, the River Bandits will hold a moment of silence for 111 seconds before a 1:11 p.m. start time. The team is also making a No. 111 River Bandits jersey. With Harris’s funeral Wednesday, the jersey will be presented to a representative from the Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at a future home game this season.
“Shelby Harris will be remembered for so much that he gave and shared with the Quad Cities community and beyond,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “We want to honor his life, spirit and memory at the same place where he created one of the most inspirational and memorable Opening Nights in all of minor league baseball. He was a friend of the team, and we will miss our friend.”
In addition to Wednesday’s pregame tribute, the team will also sell berm tickets for $1.11 and offer a menu of $1 concession items – both specials that were offered on Opening Night when Harris threw out the first pitch.
“Shelby Harris gave the Quad Cities the perfect opening to this baseball season,” said River Bandits General Manager Stefanie Brown. “In a small way, we hope to give him a fitting thank you – and let everyone know how much this very special man will be missed.”
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