Dave McNally first heard of Ed Bayne when he was a youngster in the early 1950s.
Bayne would get the young players together and talk baseball.
"He'd pump us up," McNally recalled "In the winter, we'd go down to the Legion Club, which was downtown in those days, and he'd show us films of the proper fundamentals."
Eventually, McNally would go on to play for Bayne and twice help Billings reach the American Legion World Series.
From there, McNally went on to a 13-year career in the major leagues, pitching in four World Series and winning 20 games four times.
McNally and former Scarlets coach Dennis Maggert were the first recipients of the Billings American Legion program's Ed Bayne Hall of Fame award on May 25.
They couldn't be happier.
"Any time my name is associated with Ed Bayne, it tickles me pink," McNally said.
McNally, 59, has fond memories of his Legion days with Bayne and his coaching staff that included Les Smith, Joe Pirtz and Rex Welton.
"We got to travel and we won games," McNally said. "It was a lot of fun."
Billings didn't lose many games in McNally's years. In 1958, only four teams made the Legion World Series and Billings was one of them. Two years later, the field expanded to eight and Billings once again qualified, winning the regional title on a 2-0 shutout of Seattle by McNally (he also hit a home run).
Billings made it to the championship game, but lost 9-3 to a team from New Orleans that featured future major leaguer Rusty Staub. McNally took the loss, his only setback in 19 decisions that year.
Maggert didn't play for Bayne. In fact, he was a coaching rival for five seasons when Bayne, who'd been forced to leaving coaching in 1973 due to a heart attack, made a comeback in 1988.
But for Maggert, that didn't matter.
"This is a tremendous honor to have the first Mr. Bayne award," Maggert said. "I go back to 1974 or '75 when I first met him. We talked a lot of baseball. He was always there for me. I'd go over to his house or we'd have lunch. He's just a tremendous person."
Maggert, 51, got the Scarlets job in 1975 and coached them for 21 seasons. In his tenure, the Scarlets won six state championships.
"My goodness, there's a lot of memories," Maggert said. "I can't pinpoint just one. There were a lot of things that were outstanding. I remember a home run by Todd Wilson that hit the lights in right field and Jeff Ballard beating Mark McGwire.
"The '79 team coming back (to win the title with six straight wins after a first-round loss) and the '76 team got it started."
Maggert's 1982 team went 49-5 and played before an overflow crowd at Cobb Field in the first game of the regional tournament.
"That was a very solid team. (Gary) Johansen was a rock behind the plate and our pitching staff from 1-5 was a deep as I've seen."
Former major leaguer and Billings Royals standout Joe McIntosh was in town earlier in the week. McIntosh, now a lawyer in Seattle, delivered the commencement address at Billings Senior's graduation.
Contacted before the ceremony, McIntosh, a Senior grad himself (class of '69) said "I'm really excited. It's an honor for me."
McIntosh recalled his Legion days and playing for Bayne.
"He was very influential in my life. I got a chance to visit with him. A lot of kids were fortunate to play for him."
McIntosh was a shortstop and pitcher for the state championship teams of 1969 and 1970. The '70 club advanced to the championship game of the Region 7 tournament where it lost to a team from Phoenix.
McIntosh went on to pitch for Washington State and was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 13th round in 1973. He played two years for the Padres and was traded to Houston before his career ended due to a shoulder injury.
"It tried to rehab, but I saw the handwriting on the wall," McIntosh said. "When they have to go in and open it up, not a lot of good comes out of it."
McIntosh retired from baseball and entered the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. Ed West is a Gazette sports writer. He can be reached at 657-1325 or email@example.com