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Montana/Alberta Legion Baseball History

Years of Interest

1925   American Legion Baseball program officially initiated at Milbank, South Dakota, on July 27th.

1926   Montana American Legion sponsored a Junior Series to decide the Championship of Montana for boys 14 to 16 years of age. 25 teams entered the contest competing at the State American Legion Convention. Discrepancies arose regarding this tournament and in August the Executive Committee canceled all un-played games and declared the State Championship void.

1927   The Junior Baseball program of the American Legion was in disarray. At the time of the State Convention 42 teams sponsored by 13 posts has been organized and the winning team planned to attend the Regional Tournament in Spokane.

1928   36 teams were in competition. Great Falls went to the Regional at Spokane after defeating Butte in the State Championship.

1929   40 teams were in competition. Roundup went to the Regional in Spokane. 1931 Montana was divided into eleven districts due to 120 teams competing.

1933   80 percent of Montana's American Legion Post-sponsored teams. More than 3000 boys were involved. Great Falls defeated Billings for the State Championship. Great Falls attended the Regional in Wenatchee, Washington, and was eliminated by Seattle.

1934   Regional Tournament was held in Great Falls on August 14th and 15th. Miles City represented Montana.

1939   Miles City was the runner-up in the Regional Tournament at Pocatello, Idaho. 1940 Miles City hosted the Regional. Pocatello, Idaho, won the Championship. 1941 Great Falls Montana State Champs were eliminated in a Sectional Play-off at Lewiston, Idaho. Miles City hosted the Western Sectional Tournament. Teams participating were San Diego, Tulsa, Lewiston and Omaha.

1943   American Legion World Series hosted in Miles City. Minneapolis won the title. 1944 Miles City hosted Regional Tournament.

1945   Billings hosted Regional Tournament.

1946   Miles City hosted a Regional Tournament for Montana, North and South Dakota and Idaho. Great Falls hosted Regional Tournament for California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

1948   Montana American Legion Baseball was divided into Class A and B divisions.

1950   Robert Morris, Anaconda High School Sophomore was killed by lightning in Helena, while playing in a game.

1951   Billings defeated Butte in the State Title match 11-0. Butte played the game under protest following a play in the second inning when the Butte Captain and catcher were called out for running the bases in reverse order. Billings went on to win the Regional in Lewiston, Idaho, but was later eliminated in the Sectional Tournament held in Hastings, Nebraska.

1954   Billings again won the Regional Tournament and was eliminated in the Sectional held in Hastings.

1955   Billings hosted the Regional Tournament and set an American Legion Baseball record, going against Idaho for 19 innings, winning 1-0 before midnight. The next day Billings defeated Washington, but lost to Oregon that evening - 37 innings in less than twenty-four hours.

1956   Lou Brissie, National League Commissioner, coached a team of sixteen American Legion Baseball players to go on a month's goodwill tour to seven Latin American countries. Dick Montee from Billings played with the group. 1957 Billings hosted the World Series on September 5-9. An estimated 23,000 fans attended these games. The first day games were shown on live TV in the Billings area.

1958   Billings played in the World Series in Colorado Springs. Jerry Walters, pitcher for Billings signed a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians following his performance at the World Series.

1960   Billings won Regional Tournament and runner-up in the World Series.

1961   Billings won Regional Tournament at Sheridan, Wyoming, but was defeated in the World Series. Phoenix won the national Title.

1962   Billings again won the Regional but was eliminated by St. Louis and New Orleans after winning their first game in the World Series held in Bismarck. 1981 Montana voted unanimously to allow Canadian teams to participate in American Legion Baseball. Lethbridge, Alberta, was the first team to register. Lethbridge went on to win the State Championship in Helena.

1984   Missoula constructed a new stadium.

1987   Class AA and Class A replaced the Class A and Class B designation. 1989 Kalispell constructed a new field.

1990   Vauxhall Alberta Canada won the State Class A Championship in Glendive, Bitterroot was Runner-up. The two teams met each other twice in the Championship game. Vauxhall claimed the Northwest Regional Championship. Bozeman constructed a new stadium.

1991   Colstrip constructed a new stadium.

1992   The Missoula Reds under Coach Brent Hathaway captured Runner-up in State Class A Championship then went on to finish 3rd in the Regional in Pendleton, OR.

1993   Class AA Championship between the Billing Scarlets and Royals rained out in Bozeman. Game was moved to Billings to be played on the next morning at 11:00 A.M.. Hamilton Red Socks admitted to the Class A Division. Cutbank and Colstrip unable to field teams in their Districts.

1994   Manhattan/Three Forks, Belgrade, Malta, and Colstrip fielding new teams. Class B program started for smaller communities. Belgrade constructed a new stadium. Great Falls Stallions AA and A began their first Season. The Fort Macleod Royals won the Northwest Class A Region Championship for the second consecutive year. Rocky Musgraves and Ken Hann were at the helm.

1995   Missoula Mavericks went undefeated in Class AA conference play. They were defeated once in the State Tournament by the Lethbridge Elks and represented as the Montana/Alberta Champions in Yakima where they lost the first two games.

1996   The Sidney Patriots surprised the Class A Tournament by defeating Vauxhall and representing Montana in the Class A Regional in Boise, ID.  For the second time, the Class AA Tournament was held in Canada at Medicine Hat. The Miles City Mavericks defeated the Glacier Twins to win the State Championship. The Billings Blue Jays hosted and won the Class A State Championship.

1997   Missoula Mavericks won the Class AA Championship for the third time in the last four years. The Bitterroot Red Sox won its first Class A Championship. We welcome three new teams to Class A, the Powder River Mudcats (Broadus), Tobacco Valley Rangers (Eureka), and the Salmon, Idaho Mariners

1998   Missoula Mavericks won the Class AA Championship for the fourth time in five years. Bitterroot Red Sox repeated as Class A Champions and went on to win the Region 7 Class A Championship in Yakima, Wa. The Miles City Maverick hosted the Class AA Region 7Tournament.

1999   Lethbridge Elks were State AA Champions defeating Missoula Mavericks 13‑10. Havre North Stars defeated the Gallatin Valley Outlaws to win the Class A Championship. Glendive hosted the Region 7 Class A Tournament and Havre lost in a semi-final game to eventual Region Champion Idaho.

2000   Billings Scarlets defeated Laurel to win the Class AA State Championship. Lethbridge hosted the tournament, the third State Championships held in Bitterroot Red Sox won their third Championship in Class A in the past four year and finished second at the Region 7 Tournament. We added (in the last couple years) new teams in Class A at Mission Mountain Rockies (Charlo), Malta Hiline Mustangs, and Columbus Beartooth Bighorns.

2001   Helena Senators won the Class AA State Championship and Bitterroot Red Sox won their fourth championship in the past five years.

2200   Helena Senators repeated as Class AA State Champion. Glendive Blue Devils won their first Class A Championship. Glendive was the 1985 Class B Champion. Fifty Six teams participated. With the addition of some "B" teams or split squads, we had 1,000 young men participate in American Legion Baseball in Montana/Alberta.

2003    Helena Senators became the first three-peat State AA Champion since the 1969-70-71 Billings Team. The Bitterroot Red Sox won their fifth State A Championship in the past seven years. A tragic accident claimed the life of Miles City pitcher Brandon Patch when he was struck by a batted ball in a game in Helena. This is the second fatality in Montana American Legion Baseball. Robert Morris, Anaconda second baseman was struck by lightning in a 1950 game, also played at Kindrick Field in Helena

2004   Lethbridge won the Class AA Tournament for the fifth time. They won their first two games at Regional. They lost to Washington, the eventual winner and World Series Runner-up. Glendive won the Class A Tournament for the second time in three years. Nolan Gallagher from Red Lodge was selected for the Montana AA Scholarship. He then won the Region 7 Scholarship. The eight Regional Winners resumes were sent to the World Series where a  committee selected Nolan as the 2004 George W. Rulon American Legion Baseball Player of the Year. Congratulations on receiving this great honor.

2005   The Billings Royals won the State AA Championship in 14 Innings defeating the Billings Scarlets 4 to 3. They went to the Region 7 Tournament in Yakima, Washington. For the second year in a row a Washington team from the tri cities area won the Region 7 Tournament and finished second at the World Series. Gallatin Valley Outlaws are the 2005 Class A State Champions. They finished second to a fine team from Washington.

2006   Max Pearson, Lewistown Redbirds, was awarded the Class A Scholarship. Brian Owler, Missoula Mays, received the Class AA Scholarship and also was awarded the Region 7 Scholarship. This marks the third year in a row that our Montana Scholarship winner has also won the Region 7 Scholarship. The Bitterroot Bucs won the State Class A Championship by defeating the Lewistown Redbirds. The Bucs went on to win the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament. They defeated the Oregon State Champion 10 to 9. The Billings Scarlets are the 2006 State Class AA Champions. They defeated Missoula 6-2 in the final game. This was the Scarlets third consecutive appearance in the Championship Game having lost in 2004 & 2005. The Scarlets defeated the Wyoming Champion in their first game at the Northwest Region 7 Tournament, then lost to eventual Regional Champion Nebraska by a score of 4-3. They were then eliminated by the Oregon Champion.

2007   Mission Valley Mariners (Poison) won the Class A State Tournament played in Libby. They then attended the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament held for the first time in Alaska. The Mariners defeated Oregon and then lost to Utah and Wyoming. It was an experience that these players and coaches will always remember. Bozeman Bucks won the Class AA State Tournament. It is their first State Championship. Bozeman had a very successful run at the Regional Tournament. They lost to Idaho in their first game. Then defeated Alaska, Nebraska, and Host Lewiston before losing a semi-final contest to eventual Champion Washington. Bozeman will host the Northwest Regional Tournament in 2008. The Montana Scholarship winners were Class A -Triston Spehar of the Anaconda A's and Class AA - Brian Fowler of the Missoula Mavericks. Brian went on to become the 4t h Montana winner in a row to win the Region 7 Scholarship.

2008   Vauxhall, Alberta defeated Lethbridge, Alberta 21-10 to win the Class A State Championship. Vauxhall had a great Regional Tournament, defeating Idaho 8-7, Oregon 5-2, and Utah 6-3, before losing to Washington 15-9 and 10-6 to finish in second place. The Billings Scarlets are the 2008 Class AA State Champions. They defeated the Billings Royals 11-6 in the Championship game. The Bozeman Bucks hosted the 2008 Northwest Regional Tournament. Bozeman defeated Alaska 8-3 but then lost to Idaho 16-5 and California 14-6. Our Champion Billings Scarlets lost to Wyoming 13-3 and California 7-6. The tournament was won by Pasco, Washington 6-4 over Boise, Idaho. Pasco went to the World Series where they lost to Las Vegas, Nevada 5-1 in the Championship Game. John Rausch of the Mission Valley Mariners (Poison) won the Class A Scholarship and Taylor King of the Missoula Mays won the Class AA Scholarship.

2009   Laurel Dodgers defeated Lethbridge Alberta to win the Class A State Tournament. Laurel went to the Regional Tournament in Utah where they lost to the Washington Champion in the Championship game. Class A Montana Champion has been second at Regional two years in a row. The Billings Scarlets repeated as Class AA State Champions. They defeated Bozeman 6-4 in the final game. The Scarlets won their first two games then lost the next two. Medford, Oregon won the Regional Tournament and went on to finish second at the World Series to Midland, Michigan.

2010   Laurel Dodgers repeated as Class A State Champions. They also were runners up for the second year at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament. Missoula won the State Class AA Championship. The tournament was hosted by the Medicine Hat, Alberta team. The Class AA Scholarship was won by Sam Sopko of the Missoula Mavericks and the Class A Scholarship was won by Jacob Grove of the Kootenai Valley Rangers.

2011   The Laurel Dodgers won their third Class A Championship in a row. No other Class A Team has accomplished this feat. The Dodgers also finished second at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament for the third year in a row. Billings Scarlets won the Class AA State Tournament, which was held in Butte. Billings, Montana was a successful bidder to host the 2011 and 2012 Northwest Regional Tournaments. The Scarlets finished second to the team from Hawaii.

2012   Mission Valley Mariners had an outstanding year. They not only won the Class A State Tournament. They went to Burley, Idaho and won the Class A Northwest Regional Tournament. Billings hosted the Northwest Regional Tournament for Class AA teams for the second year. The Scarlets and Royals qualified for the Regional. The Royals won the Class AA State Tournament held in Whitefish. The Scarlets were runners up. Luke Reinschmidt of the Royals was selected as the MVP for the Class AA Tournament and Justin Evertz became the first Class A player to repeat as MVP for Class A Mission Valley Mariners. Cayden Napierala of the Great Falls Chargers and Jake Capko of the Bitterroot Bucs were awarded the $1,000.00 scholarships for their respective classes. Montana/Alberta American Legion Baseball had a great year with 45 teams and over 700 student athletes participating.

2013   Laurel Dodgers won the Class A State Championship. They were eliminated at the Regional Tournament in a semi-final game by a team from Utah. This was Laurel's fourth State Championship in the last five years. Billings Royals repeated as Class AA State Tournament Champion. Missoula Mays were runner-up. The Royals defeated Wyoming in Game 1. They went on to lose to Washington 5-4 and then to eventual Champion Hawaii 7-4. Cranbrook, British Columbia joined us as a Class B Team. Northwest Region winner Hawaii finished in third place at the American Legion World Series. Carl Hennell of Kalispell was named to the National Baseball Sub-committee. Congratulations Carl on this prestigious appointment.

2014   We had 56 Teams competing in three categories, Class AA, Class A, and Class B. Approximately 900 players and 150 coaches participated in Montana. We had 1 team from British Columbia, 7 from Alberta and 48 from Montana. Glacier Twins (Whitefish) won the Class A Championship and participated in the Regional Tournament in Alaska. All reports were they had a great experience. Missoula was Class AA Champion. We had an informal Invitational Class B Tournament won by Cranbrook, BC. Glacier Twins were 2-2 at the Regional in Alaska won by Pocatello, Idaho. Missoula defeated Idaho, lost to Oregon and was eliminated by eventual Champion Hawaii. Hawaii went to the World Series where they were the runner-up in Pool B. They were then eliminated by the Pool A winner and eventual repeat World Series Champion New Jersey.

2015   We grew to 58 teams. Bitterroot Red Sox had a great year. They won the State Class A Championship and then went on to win the Northwest Class A Tournament Championship. Billings Scarlets won the State Class AA State Tournament. They were eliminated in two games at the Northwest Regional in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The American Legion World Series was won by the team from South Carolina. This year we had the two semi-final games and the final on national TV, broadcast on ESPNU. A sold out crowd of 8,500 watched the game in person.



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