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Al Ronning

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Albert Roy Ronning

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Al Ronning played in the minors from 1947 to 1960, managed in the minors for nine seasons, and was a scout for 35 seasons.

Ronning, a native of Arlington, WA[1], graduated from Arlington (WA) High School in 1944 and enlisted in the Navy. The destroyer he was assigned to broke its starboard shaft and was sent to the San Diego Naval Repair Base, where a scout spotted Ronning catching for the Base team. This led to Ronning being signed by the Bremerton Bluejackets of the Western International League.

He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers organization after the 1950 season, and assigned to the Pueblo Dodgers of the Western League. At Pueblo, he married his first wife, Christena, in a ceremony at home plate; his best man was pitcher Roy Face.

Having been among the batting leaders for several months (before tailing off to finish at .298), Ronning was promoted to the Montreal Royals of the International League for 1952. But he struggled to hit in the higher classifications. Ronning blamed this on a severe virus he contracted while playing for the Fort Worth Cats in the Texas League in 1953, which dropped his weight from 215 lbs to 160 lbs; however, the .650 OPS he posted in 1953 was the highest OPS of his seven seasons (1952-1958) in AA and AAA ball.

Ronning was a player coach for the Montreal Royals in 1957, and briefly managed the club for a few days in June, as Tommy Holmes took over for Al Campanis. After posting only a .494 OPS for the Spokane Indians of the Pacific Coast League in 1958, Ronning dropped down to the lower classifications, and began a career as a manager.

After the 1968 season, Ronning joined the expansion Montreal Expos as a scout. He remained with the organization through 1974, and then scouted for the Major League Scouting Bureau from 1975-2002. He was named the West Coast Scout of the Year in 2002. [2]

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1957 Montreal Royals International League -- Brooklyn Dodgers -- replaced Al Campanis on June 24
replaced by Tommy Holmes on June 27
1959 Panama City Fliers Alabama-Florida League 47-71 6th Los Angeles Dodgers
1960 Kokomo Dodgers Midwest League 63-59 4th Los Angeles Dodgers none
1961 Great Falls Electrics Pioneer League 75-58 2nd Los Angeles Dodgers League Champs
1962 Great Falls Electrics Pioneer League 60-70 5th Los Angeles Dodgers
1963 Great Falls Electrics Pioneer League 69-59 3rd Los Angeles Dodgers Lost in st round
1964 Santa Barbara Dodgers California League 68-71 5th Los Angeles Dodgers none
1965 Lewiston Broncs Northwest League 65-42 1st Kansas City A's Lost League Finals replaced Bill Posedel (3-4)
1966 Burlington (IA) Bees Midwest League 77-48 3rd Kansas City A's
1967 Burlington (IA) Bees Midwest League 56-59 5th Kansas City A's
1968 Leesburg Athletics Florida State League 51-92 10th Kansas City A's

[edit] References

  1. "Stories to Tell: Arlington Native Spends More Than 50 Years in Pro Baseball", by Tony Dondero, The Arlington (WA) Times, August 8 2004
  2. "Still waiting for Hall of Fame recognition, Foundation honors three more scouts", by Allan Simpson, Baseball America News, December 11 2002

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