Lethbridge Dodgers

From BR Bullpen

In 1977, the Lethbridge Expos of the Pioneer League began an affilation with the Los Angeles Dodgers and became known as the Lethbridge Dodgers. The team was an instant success, going 44-26 and capturing a championship for manager Gail Henley in its first season. Michael Zournas hit 21 home runs to lead the league, James Nobles paced the circuit with 9 wins, and catcher Jesse Baez and second baseman Don LeJohn were All-Stars. Jim Lefebvre took over as the club's skipper the next season, and the team fell to fifth place with a 33-35 record. Still, pitcher Roberto Alexander won 9 games to lead the league and third baseman German Rivera made the All-Star team.

Henley returned as the team's manager in 1979, and the Dodgers responded by going 38-30 and capturing another league title. Rich Rodas won the pitching Triple Crown with 12 wins, a 1.12 ERA, and 148 strikeouts, and was joined by first baseman Greg Brock on the All-Star team. Henley remained with the club in 1980, and they posted a league-best 52-18 record and repeated as champs. Pitcher Charles Jones struck out a league-high 115 batters, and first baseman Greg Smith, designated hitter Audie Cole, and pitcher Curtis Reade were All-Stars.

Gary LaRocque replaced Henley at the helm in 1981, and the Dodgers dropped to 43-27, missing out on the playoffs. A bright spot for the team was pitcher Sid Fernandez, who struck out 128 and posted a 1.54 ERA. LaRocque's club fell to 25-45 the next season, and not one player made the All-Star team. Henley returned for a third go-round as manager in 1983, and the Dodgers improved to 39-31, narrowly missing out on the postseason. Shortstop Jeff Hamilton and second baseman Ken Harvey were All-Stars, and pitcher Derek Lee tied for the league lead with 9 wins. However, after the season, the Dodgers relocated to Idaho and became the Pocatello Gems.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1977 44-26 1st Gail Henley League Champs
1978 33-35 5th Jim Lefebvre
1979 38-30 1st Gail Henley League Champs
1980 52-18 1st Gail Henley League Champs
1981 43-27 2nd Gary LaRocque
1982 25-45 3rd (tie) Gary LaRocque
1983 39-31 2nd Gail Henley