Miners allowed to play Class A

The Montana/Alberta American Legion Baseball Committee reversed its stance and decided to allow the Butte Miners to compete in the Class A division in 2013, Miners coach Jeff LeProwse said today.

The Miners will play in the Southern A District, which was the home of the Butte Muckers through 2011. The Butte Legion program didn’t have enough players for two teams last year, and the Miners struggled to an 0-26 Eastern AA schedule.

LeProwse said Baseball Committee member Bill Houston informed the Miners of the decision. Butte will not be eligible for post-season play if Butte’s enrollment of high school students between the grades of 10 and 12 is at 1,000 or above on March 31.

Before Buttesports.com brought the story to light, the Miners were told they couldn’t play Class A ball because their enrollment was 1,041 at last count. The Miners were told they could compete in Class AA, where Butte officials didn’t think the team was prepared to compete, or Class B, which is basically a non-conference level with no post-season options. Butte was forced to play Class AA last year when the Butte enrollment number was 997.

Dillon Cubs coach Randy Shipman said he hasn’t heard from anyone on the Committee to tell him if they have also reconsidered its decision to bar him from Montana/Alberta American Legion Baseball.


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  • Dennis Bugni
    January 9, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Never thought I would see the day when a Butte guy or guys would back down from competition but if it’s best for the program so be it.I just have a hard time telling my kids and the kids that I coach,that if you can’t beat Johnny,you can play Susi and if you can’t compete with her, then maybe they might have a younger sibling.Not sure this will build up the program only time will tell and the kids will get another year of baseball.And as far as enrollment numbers go, Butte Central Alumni please don’t even consider this step. Yes I do “BLEED PURPLE” but when I open up the paper in the morning and see a Central win,makes you proud to be from Butte.This feedback of mine is no disrespect to “A” baseball, it’s just not “AA”. BUTTE YOUR A “AA” TOWN!!!

    • Henry@Dennis Bugni
      January 9, 2013, 10:56 pm

      An AA town yes but not a multiple AA town. Sounds like you OK with younger sibling getting beat by the older sibling all the time and as the older sibling gets bigger & bigger and keeps beating them, you just take it because you’re a Butte guy even though you’ve been beaten for the last 50 years and severely outnumbered.

      I would also take it you’re OK with all other AA high schools combining & playing as one AA team while Butte would just have kids from one AA school, that would be OK because we’re from Butte?

      The Montana high school association has rules to establish a fair playing field for all teams, we see this in college athletics, and in pro sports with salary caps because they are all in search of parity.

      There is no parity in Montana American Legion baseball, Butte is competing with teams from multiple AA high schools and in some cases additional A,B and C schools with them. I would think Butte is an AA team if they said that every AA school has to have one AA baseball team but when they allow teams to combine from multiple schools when others are drawing from much less than half there is little chance to succeed. Take away their facility & you’re giving them less of a chance.

      I too am proud of Butte Central & the way they compete for their size, and yes they are the exception in most cases. The difference between them and the largest A school is around 700 students, the Miners are outnumbered in AA baseball by 1500 to 3000 students in most cases.

  • Shawn Roberts
    January 9, 2013, 6:25 pm

    This is a bummer. What happens if they have enough kids to field both teams, do they both play single A. The competition isn’t that much weaker in single A. I feel sorry for the kids that don’t get to expiernce playing AA. I blame soccer


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