The Billings Mustangs are a minor league baseball team based in Billings, Montana. The Mustangs are the Pioneer League Rookie affiliate of the Major League Cincinnati Reds. The team has been a part of the Pioneer League since 1948 with a five-year gap between 1964 and 1968, and has been affiliated with the Reds since 1974 (after an affiliation with the Kansas City Royals). Along with the Elizabethton Twins, the Mustangs affiliation with the Reds is the longest-running among all rookie-level teams. The team was officially established on November 4, 1947.
Founded in 1948
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pioneer League (1948-1963, 1969–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Cincinnati Reds (1974–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (15)|
|Division titles (10)|
|Nickname||Billings Mustangs (1948-1963, 1969–present)|
|Ballpark||Dehler Park (2008–present)|
|Cobb Field (1948-1963, 1969-2007)|
|Main Street Baseball|
|General Manager||Gary Roller|
The Mustangs play at Dehler Park, named after Jon Dehler, a Billings businessman who bought the naming right to the field in 2007. Prior to the 2008 season the Mustangs played at Cobb Field (named after Bob Cobb who was responsible for bringing professional baseball to the city of Billings). Cobb Field was demolished in September 2007 to make way for the new park.
The Mustangs won three consecutive Pioneer League titles from 1992 and 1994, then won another in 1997. In 2003, Billings swept the Provo Angels in the Championship Series, winning two games to none. Provo had tied the league record for wins that year with 54. Billings, the last team to qualify for the postseason, won Game 1 at Provo 8-5 in 11 innings, then, Billings won 3-0 on a no-hitter by James Paduch to win the Championship in front of a sold-out Cobb Field in Billings. The game was a classic pitchers duel between two of the top pitchers in the league (Provo's being 2003 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year Abel Moreno). In 2006, Chris Valaika set a Pioneer League record with a 32-game hitting streak during the Mustangs 51-win campaign.
Many Major League stars have begun their pro careers in Billings. These include George Brett, Reggie Sanders, Paul O'Neill, Trevor Hoffman, Keith Lockhart, Danny Tartabull, Ben Broussard, Scott Sullivan, Aaron Boone, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, and B. J. Ryan.
After years of award-winning work in the front office, Assistant General Manager Gary Roller was promoted to General Manager for the 2005 season. Roller took over for long time GM and Mustangs Hall-of-Famer Bob Wilson. Matt Bender, who formerly handled the duties of Official Scorer, took over the vacated Assistant General Manager position.
Dehler Park (and before at Cobb Field) is renowned in the Pioneer League for the "Beer Batter" tradition. Every game the Mustangs Beer Boosters designate one player as the "Beer Batter." If that player gets a hit, attendees can buy four beers for $10. Many eager buyers stand at the stairs anticipating a hit and the oncoming rush of people.
The Billings Mustangs changed their logo for the 2006 season. The 2007 season was their last at Cobb Field and the Mustangs begin the 2008 season at Dehler Park. On September 11, 2014, the Mustangs defeated the Orem Owlz for their first Pioneer League Championship since the 2003 season. After the 2014 season The team introduced its new ownership group at a December 5 in a press conference at Dehler Park.
- 1978: Defeated Idaho Falls 2–0 to win league championship
- 1980: Lost to Lethbridge 2–1 in finals.
- 1983: Defeated Calgary 3–1 to win league championship.
- 1984: Lost to Helena 3–1 in finals.
- 1992: Defeated Salt Lake 2–0 to win league championship.
- 1993: Defeated Helena 3–2 to win league championship.
- 1994: Defeated Helena 2–1 to win league championship.
- 1997: Defeated Great Falls 2–0 to win league championship.
- 1999: Lost to Missoula 2–0 in finals.
- 2001: Defeated Provo 2–0 to win league championship.
- 2003: Defeated Provo 2–0 to win league championship.
- 2014: Defeated Great Falls 2–0 in semifinals; defeated Orem 2–0 to win league championship.
- 2015: Lost to Missoula 2–1 in semifinals.
- 2016: Defeated Great Falls 2–0 in semifinals; lost to Orem 2–0 in finals.
- 2018: Lost to Great Falls 2–1 in semifinals.
Billings Mustangs roster
7-day injured list
Hall of Fame alumniEdit
- Larry Shepard (Player-Manager)
- Bennie Daniels, Dick Stuart
- Chris Cannizzaro
- Jim Hickman
- Gorman Thomas
- Al Cowens, Jim Wohlford
- Mark Littell
- Jamie Quirk
- Ruppert Jones, Bob McClure, Rodney Scott
- Ron Oester, Harry Spilman
- Larry Rothschild
- Eddie Milner
- Tom Foley
- Skeeter Barnes, Nick Esasky, Gary Redus
- Dave Miley, Danny Tartabull
- Tom Browning, Kal Daniels
- Gary Denbo, Rob Dibble, Lenny Harris, Joe Oliver, Kurt Stillwell
- Keith Lockhart
- Jack Armstrong, Butch Henry, Reggie Jefferson, Ed Taubensee
- Reggie Sanders, Jerry Spradlin
- Trevor Hoffman
- Chad Mottola, Eric Owens
- Paul Bako, Chris Sexton, Scott Sullivan
- Aaron Boone
- Ray King, Jason LaRue, John Riedling
- Lance Davis
- Gookie Dawkins, Donnie Scott (Manager), Scott Williamson, DeWayne Wise
- Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, B. J. Ryan
- Ben Broussard, Scott Dunn, John Koronka, Brad Salmon
- Russ Nixon (Manager), Randy Ruiz
- Todd Coffey, Edwin Encarnación, Ted Power (Pitching Coach)
- William Bergolla
- Rick Burleson (Manager), Chris Dickerson, Miguel Perez, Joey Votto
- Paul Janish, Chris Sabo (Hitting Coach), Craig Tatum
- Jay Bruce, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure, Adam Rosales, Jeff Stevens, Travis Wood
- Danny Dorn, Juan Francisco, Chris Heisey, Marcos Mateo, Logan Ondrusek, Denis Phipps, Josh Roenicke, Jordan Smith, Drew Stubbs, Justin Turner, Chris Valaika
- Scott Carroll, Enerio Del Rosario, Todd Frazier, Jeremy Horst, Curtis Partch
- Justin Freeman, Josh Ravin, Miguel Rojas, Dave Sappelt, Neftali Soto
- Daniel Corcino, Didi Gregorius, Donnie Joseph
- Tucker Barnhart, Billy Hamilton, Yorman Rodriguez
- Tony Cingrani, Carlos Contreras, Steve Selsky, Kyle Waldrop
- Amir Garrett, Jon Moscot, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, Jesse Winker
- Layne Somsen, Zack Weiss, Daniel Wright