We have personnel news from the Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A; Midwest League), Main Street Baseball and the Rome Braves (High-A; Sally League).
In Rome, David Lane returns to the baseball world as General Manager of the Rome Braves. Lane becomes just the fourth General Manager of the Rome club since its inception in 2003, following Mike Dunn, Jim Bishop and David Cross.
“We are thrilled to welcome David to the Diamond Baseball Family as we celebrate the Rome Braves upcoming 20th Anniversary season in 2023,” said Peter Freund, CEO of team owner Diamond Baseball Holdings, via press release. “David’s experience in the sports industry, specifically Minor League Baseball, will enable him to hit the ground running and continue to build on the best fan experience in baseball at AdventHealth Stadium.”
Lane brings over twenty years of experience to the Braves’ front office, including stops with minor-league organizations Charleston RiverDogs, Greenville Drive, Greeneville Astros and Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Lane was crowned Appalachian League Executive of the year in both 2009 and 2010. Lane is also a three-time recipient of the Appalachian League’s Promotional Award of Excellence, receiving the award in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
When the Astros chose Fayetteville, NC, as the home of their newest Single-A affiliate, they chose Lane as the team’s first GM. The Fayetteville Woodpeckers averaged 3,632 fans per-game in their inaugural season under Lane in 2019. The Woodpeckers were also awarded the 2019 Patriot Award, an award presented to a team in Minor League Baseball for outstanding support of the United States Armed Forces and veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community.
In 2021, Lane helped launch the Birmingham Squadron, an NBA G-League franchise affiliated with the New Orleans Pelicans, as the General Manager. Most recently, Lane served as the General Manager for Van Wagner College at Samford University in Birmingham, AL where he was in charge of Samford University’s Corporate Partnership Program.
“Rome is a fantastic community with a tremendous history of support for Braves baseball,” Lane said via press release. “I am excited to become engrained in such a great community and look forward to transitioning my family to Rome.”
Lane is a native of Spartanburg, SC and a graduate of Clemson University. While at Clemson, he earned a degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.
For the River Bandits, General Manager Joe Kubly has been named Chief Operating Officer for Main Street Baseball, with Assistant General Manager Paul Kleinhans-Schulz promoted to General Manager. In that position, Kubly will oversee operations for the River Bandits, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A; Sally League) and the Billings Mustangs (Pioneer League).
“Joe Kubly has proven himself as one of the most successful and smart general managers in Minor League Baseball,” Main Street Baseball CEO Dave Heller said via press release. “Working together with Joe, we had our best two years in River Bandits’ history. We’ve made significant facility renovations required by MLB, improved the ballpark experience for our guests, given away record amounts of money to local charities, and packed the house every weekend. I’m excited to continue working with Joe to do the same for our other clubs. He is a unique and special talent and a good friend. I can’t wait to start putting our plans in place for next season.”
Since being named River Bandits’ General Manager in 2019, Kubly led the team through the Covid-19 pandemic—a period which included 20 months without hosting a professional baseball game—to its most profitable year in team history in 2021. That year, the team earned Ballpark Digest’s Minor League Baseball “Team of the Year” award.
Over the past two seasons, the River Bandits set single-season records for merchandise sales and amusement revenues. The club also grew its social media follower base by 55 percent and its reach/engagement by 750%. Since 2021, Heller and Kubly have overseen more than $2 million in ballpark renovations to bring Modern Woodmen Park up to Major League Baseball’s new player facility standards and, in 2022, helped set the River Bandits’ single-season record for sponsorship sales.
Kubly first joined the River Bandits in 2014 as Director of Group Sales. In 2015, he was promoted to Director of Sales and ticketing, where he led the team to its highest per-game average attendance in club history. In 2016, he left to become President and General Manager of the Grand Junction Rockies (Pioneer League). Two years later, he was named one of Minor League Baseball’s Executives of the Year.
Kubly graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art (2009) and Master of Science in Sports Management (2011).
Kleinhans-Schulz will oversee the team’s day-to-day operations.
“Paul has been an integral part of our great success over the past two years,” Heller said via press release. “He’s everything it means to be a River Bandit: Paul is smart, focused, hard-working, and dedicated to providing all of our guests with an exceptional game-day experience. He is loved by both the Royals and our guests and does a great job. He’s completely earned this promotion.”
Since being named the River Bandits’ Assistant General Manager of Baseball Operations in 2020, Kleinhans-Schulz helped lead the club through the Covid-19 pandemic to its most profitable year in team history in 2021. That year, the River Bandits earned Ballpark Digest’s Minor League Baseball “Team of the Year” award. In addition, Kleinhans-Schulz contributed to the team’s single-season record for sponsorship sales in 2022, while organizing events including the annual River Bandits Golf Outing, benefiting the Bandit Scholars Program. He has also overseen the installation and operation of the team’s new marketing and sales platforms throughout the ballpark.
Kleinhans-Schulz first joined the River Bandits in 2014 as an account executive before being promoted to Sales Manager later that year. In 2016, he left to become Director of Group Sales for the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), eventually rising to Assistant General Manager of Sales.
In 2018, Kleinhans-Schulz rejoined the Main Street Baseball family as Assistant General Manager of the Lowell Spinners (Short Season A; NY-Penn League), prior to accepting a similar position with the Fort Myers Miracle (High A; Florida State League) in 2019.