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Three enter Senators Hall of Fame

By CURT SYNNESS, 08/30/18, 11:30AM MDT


The Helena Senators Legion Baseball Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2018 during the Senators awards banquet on August 14 at Carroll College. The latest inductees include Rande Muffick, Dave Thennis and the late Larry Anderson.

Anderson was a rare five-year player for Helena from 1947-51, making the varsity when he was only 13 years old (the age limit was 17 then). He was the starting second baseman his final three seasons, and in 1951 he led the team in hitting with a .406 batting average. In 1952, Anderson had a tryout with the Chicago Cubs in Billings. He played three years in the semipro Copper League, batting .355 in his best season. Legion coach Bernard McGinley once said, “Larry Anderson was the best clutch hitter I ever coached.”

In 1976, Muffick performed one of the best all-around seasons in Senators history. On the mound, he set four team season records that still stand 42 years later; 170 strikeouts, 1.36 strikeouts-per-inning, a 1.15 ERA, and 20 strikeouts in a game. Muffick allowed just 65 hits and 31 walks in 125 innings pitched. He also pitched an 11-inning, no-decision, no-hitter. At the plate, he captured the Earl Tucker Trophy with a team-high .357 batting average, while leading the team on base percentage (.520), steals (27), runs, triples and walks.

Thennis retired last year after 20 seasons as Helena's head coach. Among his career highlights from 1998-2007 were three successive State championships, from 2001-03; a lifetime record of 656-522 for a .557 winning percentage, while averaging 33 wins a year; 17 seasons at .500 or better; and 16 State Tournament qualifications. When Thennis' Senators captured the State title in 2001, it was only the second American Legion baseball crown in local history, and the first in 33 years, since 1968.