BUTTE–A ribbon was cut, and a legend was born.
The new 3 Legends Stadium opened up in Butte on Friday, beginning with a ceremony honoring the men the stadium was named after. Jim Hanley, Jack Whelan, and family members of the late Jack Cavanaugh were on hand for the unveiling of the ballpark–a well-deserved honor for a trio of selfless men.
“They were three individuals that put in over 150 years combined of working with American Legion Baseball with no compensation,” said Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Rec Director, JP Gallagher. “They are Butte American Legion Baseball.”
A dinner was held for members who bought ceremony tickets, while the Miners took their first warm-up reps on the 2.3 million dollar field.
“I like it a lot,” said Miners picther, Quin Sullivan. “It’s real nice. I’m glad I get to play on it.”
The Dillon Cubs came to town to take on the Miners, and the visitors also approved of the new digs.
“I think this is one of the nicer [stadiums] I’ve seen,” said Cubs pitcher, Nick Huber. “They just have an all-around nice stadium right now, and I think it’ll turn out nice for them.”
The Miners and Cubs then took the field to play a special nine-inning game, which Butte won, 12-5. The Miners scored the first-ever run at 3 Legends Stadium. But, as great as the field is, the most exciting aspect is the potential platform it is creating for the future of baseball in Butte.
“Baseball has kind of been dying,” Gallagher explained. “[The kids] didn’t have something to look forward to or call their own. Our hope is that it keeps kids interested [and that] they have a reason to play baseball here in Butte.”
The kids now have a place to call home, and what a home it is. But none of this would have been possible without the tireless work of three men to keep a pastime alive.