The Billings Baseball Preservation Society and Yellowstone County Museum have come together to collect, house, and exhibit relics of Yellowstone County’s baseball past.
Yellowstone County Museum has opened a new display that coincided with the Billings American Legion Hall of Fame Induction. The display showcases a Billings jersey and signed baseball cap from the 2011 Little League World Series, memorabilia from Dave McNally’s inspiring career as a Billings American Legion player and major league Baltimore Orioles star, and, of course, the man who mentored so many Billings baseball players, Coach Ed Bayne.
A Billings native, McNally was named Montana’s Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated in 1999. In the course of his remarkable career, he led Billings to two of its four appearances in the American Legion World Series before playing 14 major league seasons.
“The rich history of baseball, depicting the thousands of ball players who have passed through our community, is something that should be memorialized for generations to come,” says Sam Studiner, Secretary of the Billings Baseball Preservation Society. Yellowstone County Museum and the BBPS are dedicated to preserving those memories. From the little league to the majors, there will be something for all museum visitors to enjoy.
“Billings is a baseball town,” says YCM curator, Kathy Barton. “It’s such a large part of our culture, it’s about time we recognize and celebrate it in a museum space of its own!” The display at Yellowstone County Museum is open now and will remain through the end of summer, when it will be expanded into a full exhibit.