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 for 2006.

“I can’t 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.

“We’ll continue 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.