Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Vintage Dodgers' Minor League Championship Ring at SCP - Great Falls Electrics

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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Blog Kiosk: 12/1/2015 - Dodger Links - Roberts, Greinke and Some Prospect Talk

Dave Roberts will make his first official appearance as the Dodgers manager later this morning as he'll be introduced during a press conference at 11:00 AM.  It'll be televised live on SportsNet LA, so those of you who have the channel can tune in.  Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, "Dodgers set to introduce new skipper Roberts."
"Don't mistake kindness for weakness," said Hoffman, who played with Roberts in San Diego, then watched from the front office as Roberts coached five years for the Padres.

"He's learned from a lot of people and I think he's ready for the opportunity. He's a great communicator and people gravitate to his energy. Being in the second biggest market will be a test, but nothing he hasn't seen. He won't be overmatched by anything."
Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2004.  Below are more links to check out:
Frank (Chicago, IL): Willie Calhoun a top 30 prospect for you? Is his destination to be the keystone, or can he play elsewhere?
Ben Badler: Definitely a Top 30 guy. I’m a huge fan of Willie Calhoun’s bat. When you watch his swing—wow. His hitting mechanics are outstanding. Short, compact swing, excellent rhythm and balance, with the barrel staying on plane with the ball for a long time. The crazy power numbers he posted as an amateur are going to come back down to earth, but for his size, he does have surprising power and could be a 15-20 HR guy. The way he raked in his brief taste of pro ball after signing this year is no fluke. Now the downside—he’s short, stocky, doesn’t have much physical projection left and his defense is poor. It doesn’t seem like he’s ever prioritized defense, so the hope is that with more emphasis on his fielding and the benefit of pro instruction, he can become at least a playable defender there, and I think he can do that. I love that pick by the Dodgers for where they got him.
Curtis (Nevada): Do you see the Dodgers trading Urias for a SP this offseason?
Ben Badler: I would be surprised if they traded Urias for anybody. He’s one of the truly elite pitching prospects in baseball.
  • I really hate rumors on the hot stove.  More often than not they are baseless, unsubstantiated and totally made up.  That said, I figured this was something worth passing along.  Via Jerry Crasnick on twitter, the Zack Greinke market is red hot:

  • Dodgers adding more depth in outfield.  Via John Manuel on twitter, they are expected to sign Donavan Tate.  Mike Petriello at Dodger Insider writes about him here.

Though the soon-to-be 26-year-old is hardly an established major leaguer, the Dodgers obviously didn’t want to risk losing him with a non-tender. Wieland has worked almost exclusively as a starter over his career but could conceivably factor in the major league pen this year. Last season at Triple-A, he tossed 113 2/3 innings of 4.59 ERA ball with 7.3 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.

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