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Lethbridge Dodgers

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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.

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

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
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