BILLINGS – Baseball memories should bounce off the walls Saturday when the latest Hall of Fame class is inducted to the Billings American Legion Baseball shrine.
Six former ball players who came up through ranks of the Scarlets and Royals will be welcomed at the banquet, along with a presentation of the Dave McNally Award to Dan and Diane Barz for their contributions to the program.
Chris Collins, Adam Hust, Warren Pospisil, Chris Schultis, Greg Steffanich and Brandon Worth headline the 2018 class.
Each shared some fond American Legion Baseball memories with MTN Sports.
“It was really exciting for me,” said Steffanich, with the Royal from 1977-1980. “I’ve been to a few of the hall of fame events and being a coach, and a lot of my buddies or people I’ve known have gone into it. It’s quite an honor. (My advice is) play the game as long as you can. If it’s something you love and you’ve got the time to do it and want to do it, do it. There’s a lot of levels to play baseball.”
Brandon Worth remembered playing with the Blue Jays and Royals between 1990-1992.
“Probably the most exciting part was the state championship,” he recalled. “I had an unbelievable set of games, got the opportunity to be MVP for state that year. It was a true highlight for not only me, but more importantly for the team.”
Former Royal Chris Schultis (’79-’82) said he was blown away by his nomination.
“I got the call, and it came as a total shock,” he said. “I didn‘t even know there was a Hall of Fame for Billings American Legion, I’ve been away from it for so long. It just kind of brought back a flood of memories and good times, and makes you remember you had another life at one point.”
Former shortstop Chris Collins (’92-’95) spent all four of his Legion years with the Scarlets.
“Felt very honored,” he said of receiving his induction call. “Brought back a lot of memories, for sure. All the friendships, the baseball little leagues we played in. And coach Maggert was nothing but a true professional. Good friend. Unbelievable coach. And what he did for us was priceless. He’d set up future trips… I think we took a couple to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the College World Series. A trip to Cooperstown to visit the baseball Hall of Fame. You know, you don’t forget.”
Warren Pospisil played for the Cardinals and Scarlets between 1990-’93. Like the rest of this year’s class, his games were played at Cobb Field, long before the creation of Dehler Park.
“One of the best memories about playing at Cobb Field was when we won the state championship in ’93,” he remembered. “We were originally playing in Bozeman but the game got rained out. So they decided since it was two Billings teams, the Royals and the Scarlets playing for the state title that year, that they would go ahead and move it to Cobb Field. That was one of the great endings of the season, that we got to win the state championship on our own field.”
Adam Hust played for the Cardinals and Scarlets between ’91-’93, and is still a longtime manager of the Scarlets.
“Being a part of the Scarlets organization and Legion Baseball taught us how to respect adults, respect veterans. Everybody around us. Coach Maggert was a great mentor and frankly, when I got to college we played with some tough guys and for some tough guys and after leaving this program it seemed pretty easy to handle all the stuff that came at you because he had you prepared so well.”