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Billings Mustangs

The Billings Mustangs are a minor league baseball team based in Billings, Montana. The Mustangs are the Pioneer League Rookie affiliate of the Major League Cincinnati Reds. The team has been a part of the Pioneer League since 1948 with a five-year gap between 1964 and 1968, and has been affiliated with the Reds since 1974 (after an affiliation with the Kansas City Royals). Along with the Elizabethton Twins, the Mustangs affiliation with the Reds is the longest-running among all rookie-level teams.[1] The team was officially established on November 4, 1947.

The Mustangs play at Dehler Park, named after Jon Dehler, a Billings businessman who bought the naming right to the field in 2007. Prior to the 2008 season the Mustangs played at Cobb Field (named after Bob Cobb who was responsible for bringing professional baseball to the city of Billings). Cobb Field was demolished in September 2007 to make way for the new park.

The Mustangs won three consecutive Pioneer League titles from 1992 and 1994, then won another in 1997. In 2003, Billings beat the Provo Angels in the Championship Series 2 games to 0. Provo had tied the league record for wins that year with 54. Billings, the last team to qualify for the postseason, won game 1 at Provo 8-5 in 11 innings, then, Billings won 3-0 on a no-hitter by James Paduch to win the Championship in front of a sold-out Cobb Field in Billings. The game was a classic pitchers duel between two of the top pitchers in the league (Provo's being 2003 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year Abel Moreno). In 2006, Chris Valaika set a Pioneer League record with a 32-game hitting streak during the Mustangs 51-win campaign.

Many Major League stars have begun their pro careers in Billings. These include Reggie Sanders, Paul O'Neill, Trevor Hoffman, Keith Lockhart, Danny Tartabull, Ben Broussard, Scott Sullivan, Aaron Boone, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and B. J. Ryan.

After years of award-winning work in the front office, Assistant General Manager Gary Roller was promoted to General Manager for the 2005 season. Roller took over for long time GM and Mustangs Hall-of-Famer Bob Wilson. Matt Bender, who formerly handled the duties of Official Scorer, took over the vacated Assistant General Manager position.

Dehler Park (and before at Cobb Field) is renowned in the Pioneer League for the "Beer Batter." Every game the Mustangs Beer Boosters designate one player as the "Beer Batter." If that player gets a hit, attendees can buy four beers for $10. Many eager buyers stand at the stairs anticipating a hit and the oncoming rush of people.

The Billings Mustangs changed their logo for the 2006 season. The 2007 season was their last at Cobb Field and the Mustangs begin the 2008 season at Dehler Park. On September 11, 2014, the Mustangs defeated the Orem Owlz for their first Pioneer League Championship since the 2003 season.

Contents

  • Current roster 1
  • Notable alumni 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Current roster


Notable alumni

References

  1. ^ "Let's Stay Together: Minor League Stalwarts". MiLB.com. 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 

External links

  • Billings Mustangs official site
  • Billings Mustangs (OurSportsCentral)
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