Have you ever heard of the Great Falls Electrics?
Neither had I.
If your a student of the franchise then it's likely you've heard of the Great Falls Dodgers; who were an advanced rookie league club for the franchise in the Pioneer League for nearly twenty years starting in 1984. What you probably didn't realize is that the Dodgers were previously affiliated with this farm team in the 50's, and that they were largely known as the Great Falls Electrics during that period. BTW, for one season (1957) they were briefly known as the Great Falls Dodgers.
Featured in this post is an original 1954 Great Falls Electric Pioneer League Championship ring that is currently available on auction at SCP. Check out the listing here. That season the Electrics went 70-62 and included only two future Major Leaguers: Lou Rochelli and the very effective right-handed Dodger reliever Larry Sherry. Although, Sherry did not pitch well for the Electrics in his four pitching appearances for the farm club. He went 0-3, gave up eleven earned runs in 12.2 innings of work.
The ring once belonged to longtime Baseball man Leonard "Len" Monheimer. His affiliation with the Electrics isn't exactly spelled out in the auction description, but it appears likely that he worked in the front office for the club. Per the auction description:
Monheimer got his start in baseball when he was hired by the New York Yankees first basemen, Babe Dahlgren, to manage his Ontario, California, team. As his career progressed, Len became the General Manager and/or Owner of many minor league baseball teams nationwide: he was Manager of the Stockton, California, and Douglas, Arizona, teams to start. He then became the General Manager and/or owner of the Portland Beavers, Charleston Charlies, Arkansas Travelers, Bakersfield Bears, Las Vegas Wranglers, Salem Dodgers, Davenport Browns, Peoria White Sox, Amarillo Gold Sox and the Augusta Pirates. He also worked as the Promotional Manager for the ill-fated Seattle Pilots, now known as the Milwaukee Brewers. Additionally, he had brief stints working in professional basketball with the San Diego Clippers and in professional soccer with the Portland Timbers.That's quite a resume. BTW, he was also an event staff supervisor at the LA Coliseum in 1959. Len passed away in 2011. Per an obituary found at Legacy.com:
Anyone who met Len rarely forgot him. He was not only tall in stature, but had a superb mastery of baseball facts and stories. He loved discussing baseball with everyone.I bet I would have enjoyed sitting with him hearing his stories about the game.
On a side note, I came across an replica jacket and uniform jersey from the old Great Falls Electrics team, and thought they were too fantastic not to share. Check them out below. I found them through the Ebbets.com website. On the left below is a 1954 (same year as the ring) wool jacket, and on the right is 1961 jersey. As you can see, the general style of the emblem is very similar to the Dodgers.
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