VIPERS INK BUSCH TO NEW DEAL
Peter Young, President and Chief
Operating Officer of the Calgary Vipers today announced
the club has signed Field Manager Mike Busch to a contract
extension through the 2006 Northern League season. In
the teams inaugural season Busch piloted the Vipers
to a second place finish in the North Division in both
halves of the schedule. He was also selected to manage
the North Division in the Northern League All-Star game
in Gary, Indiana in July, a game won by the North 5-1.
“It was a great
inaugural season for the Calgary Vipers”, said
Young, “and Mike Busch was a huge reason for our
success.” “To finish the season seven games
above .500 after a 1-7 start with a team we put together
in two months is a tremendous accomplishment and a tribute
to Mike and his staff.”
The Vipers finished the
season with 51 wins and 44 losses. Their inaugural season
accomplishments included series sweeps of both the Fargo-Moorhead
RedHawks and Winnipeg Goldeyes (twice), two of the most
storied franchises in Independent baseball. The Vipers
concluded their initial campaign with six consecutive
victories but finished one-half game out of the playoffs.
The former Los Angeles
Dodgers third baseman and two-sport All-American at
Iowa State is already busy preparing the Vipers roster
wait to get back at it”, said Busch from his Iowa
home. “We have a great group of players still
under contract and will be adding five or six quality
starters in the dispersal draft later this week. I loved
every part of living and managing in Calgary and look
forward to expanding on our first year success.”
The Vipers set two Northern
League records in their inaugural season. Third baseman
Carlos Duncan established a new stolen base record with
59 while outfielder J.D. Foust set a new benchmark with
12 triples in the season.
Duncan and second baseman
Pedro Santana were both named Northern League All-Stars.
Duncan was not only third in the Northern League MVP
balloting but was also named to the second All-star
team in all of Independent Baseball. As well, pitcher
Quintin Oldenburg was selected the Northern League’s
Rookie Pitcher of the Year.
Busch will leave in mid-November
for a scouting trip to Mexico. He will then attend the
Northern League Free Agent camp in Arizona in early
April. The Vipers will open training camp on Friday,
May 5th, 2006 and will play an eight game pre-season
schedule in various parts of Alberta against the Edmonton
Cracker-Cats over the next 12 days.
Busch hopes to have his
2006 coaching staff completed by early December. With
Steve Maddock declining Calgary’s offer to return
and Dave Allen electing to remain in Arizona the sophomore
manager will have two newcomers to his staff.
Off the field the Vipers
are busy preparing for their second season.
to make improvements to Foothills Stadium,” said
team owner Jeff Gidney. “After listening to our
fans this past summer we’ll expand our picnic
and party areas. We’ll also add a children’s
playground and construct a new berm down the right field
line that will enable fans to watch games on blankets
or in lawn chairs.”
The 2006 Northern League
schedule will be released early next week but the Vipers
have already announced changes to their start times.
All Saturday games will
now feature 1:35 p.m. starting times and each Wednesday
game will be “Sneak Out” Wednesday with
12:35 p.m. starting times perfect for school and seniors
groups as well as businessmen looking for an excuse
to take an afternoon off work.
Vipers 2006 season tickets
and Flex-Packs (9 tickets for $48) are now on sale with
early bird bonuses available through Christmas.