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Foul play: Billings baseball club targeted by vandals twice in one month

Wide shot of the larger bus
Posted at 10:39 AM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 14:39:58-05

BILLINGS — After two separate incidents of vandalism this month, Upper Deck Baseball in Billings is searching for answers.

Two of the competitive baseball and softball club’s travel buses were recently targeted, including one purchased last August.

"It’s tough to kind of take in,” said Shane Vigus, the head coach of the Billings Expos and president of Upper Deck, on Wednesday.

Shane Vigus
Shane Vigus

The season hasn’t even started yet—but Upper Deck, home to the Expos and Lady Expos, is already behind in the count.

“It’s very tragic," said Cannon Hoff, a center fielder for the Expos, on Wednesday. "A blindside."

Strike one happened on Feb. 9.

“It happened at our baseball field up in the Heights," Vigus said. "Right next to Beartooth Elementary."

Strike two came Feb. 16.

"I’ve never had anything like this happen before," Vigus said. "So for it to happen twice in a couple of weeks, it does seem personal."

Hopefully, two strikes are enough.

"Our season’s getting close. Our first games are actually the beginning of April," Vigus said. "So we don’t have much time."

The repair bill has already surpassed $10,000.

"Our parents now have to figure out another fundraiser to try to get the money back," Hoff said. "Then it will take expenses away from our team."

Due to the price of insurance, the club only carries coverage in-season.

“It’s definitely not what we were expecting," said Anthony Ferguson, a short stop for the Expos, on Wednesday. "I just think it’s stupid."

Anthony (left) and Cannon (right)
Anthony (left) and Cannon (right)

Last August, the club unveiled a new bus that players were looking forward to riding. It was made possible through Pepsi Cola Bottling.

“I was looking forward to it," Hoff said. "It's a big bus."

That bus was one of the two targeted.

“We’ve only had this bus for a year. Not even a year," said Vigus.

Police reports have been filed for both incidents. The club is asking anyone who lives near Beartooth Elementary School and Elaine Street to check their cameras for any possible leads.

Wide shot of the larger bus
Wide shot of the larger bus

"From what we could see, where the footprints came in, it came from the school side," Vigus said. "So if there’s anybody on the Elaine Street or any of the neighboring blocks that maybe saw anything."

They just want to find out who’s responsible.

“It’s just, like, it’s not your stuff man. Leave it alone," said Ferguson.

If you have any information on the incidents, please contact the Billings Police Department.

To learn more about Upper Deck, click here.