HELENA — The 27th annual Keith Sell Tournament will be in action through July 4 at Kindrick Legion Field. The eight-team tournament includes the Helena Senators, Bozeman Bucks, Butte Miners, Calgary (CPBA) Bucks, Calgary Cardinals, Glacier Twins, Great Falls Chargers, and Saskatoon Giants.
The tournament is in honor of Keith Sell, who was with the Helena Legion program for over 40 years. His son, Mike, and grandson, Caden, also played in Helena’s Legion program.
Baseball runs in the family, and at times, family was what kept the Sells playing.
“So I know my dad also had a big part in the way that I play. But it all started with my grandpa, that's for sure. And my dad just kept it going and then I kept it going and it just kind of felt good to keep that going. That's a big thing, is that my dad and my grandpa are a big inspiration for the reason I played. And so I kept at it, no matter how many times I hated it, or didn't like it as much. I was always inspired by them just to keep it going,” Caden said.
Caden played for the Independents, Reps, and Senators between 2017-2021, and got to play in the Keith Sell tournament for three years.
“Oh, goodness. Last year, it was fun. Lots of good games, for sure. Lots of hard fought games. I remember one specific game was against the Yakima beetles and things kind of got crazy there. So that was definitely a memory that I won't forget, for sure. But, uh, the year before that, we had actually lost that turn out of the tournament, which is kind of sad, of course, but the year before that, we actually won it. So it was a win, lose, and then a win,” he said.
And through Caden’s time with the Senators, the Sells have developed a superstition regarding the tournament.
“So and both times we won the tournament, it was either my dad or him throwing out the first pitch. And the one year that we lost it, he threw out the first pitch. So I was always just like, it's kind of a superstition type thing that's like if I if one of my family members, whether it be met dad or my grandpa or even me, I think last year I threw it out last year, but somebody in my family to throw it out during the tournament. I think that's just kind of a key to winning right there. I think it's just kind of a superstitious type thing.”
But even without a family member in the tournament, Keith still goes to support the organization that means so much to him.
“So I just know it means a lot to him. And that every every season that comes along, he always gets excited. And he's always there for every game. No matter what, whether it is no matter what's going on. He's always there because he likes the Legion program. He likes just watching baseball in general. And especially watch like all the coaches and people that he's coached before. And that has seen him coach and stuff like that, seeing them and how they are progressing with all the new kids that are going through right now. He just likes seeing that whole program get along well. So I know he gets excited for it.”