High School Sports


Midland Roundtable AOY: Billings Central's Kyler Northrop has MLB autograph strategy

Kyler Northrop AOY
Posted at 3:00 PM, May 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-12 16:59:59-04

(Editor's note: MTN Sports is featuring a Midland Roundtable Athlete of the Year finalist nightly leading into this year's awards banquet Wednesday, May 15, at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. Ten graduating seniors (five boys, five girls) in the Billings area are nominated annually by coaches and activities directors before Roundtable members, a group of longtime sports enthusiasts in Billings, vote on one male and one female winner. In rare instances, the award has been shared.)

BILLINGS — Kyler Northrop’s basement is flooded. But not with water.

“Our basement is flooded with baseball cards,” said the senior at Billings Central.

You see, his dad, Randy, used to own a card shop here in Billings. Kyler admits he eventually got hooked on the cards and had a pretty clever strategy for collecting autographs.

“I found that there were certain players, that if you mailed them a letter and a card, they’d send it back with an autograph. And I was doing that in, like, middle school,” he recalled.

One of his current favorites actually showed up under the radar approximately six years ago.

“I did get one from Pablo Lopez, who at the time was a rookie for the (Miami) Marlins. I didn’t think anything of it and when I went back and looked through them, I found it and now he’s the ace for my favorite team, the Minnesota Twins,” he said of the irony.

Middle school players may be asking for Northrop’s autograph someday. A shortstop for the Billings Scarlets, he’s listed as Montana’s No. 1 baseball prospect right now and has a scholarship to Washington State.

He also has hops on the basketball court as a first-team all-state player for the Rams. He earned an invite to play in next month’s Midland Roundtable Montana-Wyoming All-Star series, but politely declined knowing he’ll be buried in conference baseball affairs.

Then there’s golf, where Northrop claimed to be solid a few years ago. But recently he's “gone to Top Golf a couple times on some baseball trips and the slice is terrible.”

Ahhh, the slice. Bad for golfer — but great for a baseball hitter.

 Midland Roundtable Athlete of the Year

2024 Female finalists: Kourtney Grossman (West), Halle Haber (West), Torie Jamieson (Senior), Piper Jette (Senior), Breanna Williams (Skyview).

2024 Male finalists: Maclain Burckley (Senior), Tyce Casterline (Lockwood), Keyan Hernandez (West), Kyler Northrop (Central), Braden Zimmer (West).