Both Alumni Field and Helena's Kindrick Legion Field turned professional in 1978, when the Pioneer League expanded from 6 to 8 teams. While Helena came in as an affiliate of the Phillies, Butte came in as a co-op and would have to wait a year before getting its first affiliation. Even without a Major League team to call its own, Butte would still feature an upcoming star... one that would go on to break records for longetivity in the Major Leagues, including oldest player to steal a base and hit a home run. Julio Franco was the first Copper King to hit the Major Leagues. He would hit .305 with 3 hrs in his first pro season.