Miles City Mavericks reinstated by American Legion Baseball

Updated: November 8, 2007, 1:25 PM ET
Associated Press

MILES CITY, Mont. -- The Miles City Mavericks baseball team has been reinstated by Montana American Legion Baseball after a yearlong suspension for forfeiting four games to the Bozeman Bucks in 2006 rather than face a team that used metal bats.

They will be required to play all their games, even if their opponents use metal bats, George Haegele, the general chairman for Montana American Legion Baseball, wrote to the Miles City Youth Baseball Association.

"I personally, and I am sure lots of others, look forward to your return to conference play and your continued participation as an important part of the American Legion Baseball family," Haegele said in the letter.

"I think it's great for the kids," said Jim Regan, president of the MCYBA. "As far as the town goes, Miles City has always been a strong baseball community. This is going to give the kids something to play for. It's going to be an opportunity to compete for state and other advancements."

He said the association has agreed to have the Mavericks play all of their scheduled games, even if their opponent uses aluminum bats.

The Mavericks haven't used metal bats since 2003, when pitcher Brandon Patch died after being struck in the head by a hit ball.

Until June 2006, all of the teams in Montana American Legion Baseball honored the Mavs wishes by using wood bats in their games. But Bozeman refused in June and July of 2006 and the Mavs forfeited.

Under American Legion rules, forfeiting games is not allowed, and the Legion suspended the Mavs for the 2007 season.

The Mavs still played baseball in 2007, posting a 22-31 record, their best since 2002.

Along with being reinstated into the Eastern AA Conference next summer, Miles City will also return to their spot in the state tournament host rotation. Miles City will host the state tournament in 2009. The Mavs were supposed to host the state tournament last August, but they lost their turn due to the suspension.

"We look forward to renewing the rivalries that we had with other teams," Regan said.

He said the MCYBA will decide before scheduling begins in the spring whether to again request that teams to use wood bats when playing the Mavericks.

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Information from: Miles City Star, http://www.milescitystar.com


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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