Bellingham Dodgers

From BR Bullpen

The Bellingham Dodgers joined the Northwest League in 1973, representing Bellingham, WA. In their first season they outdrew Seattle and trailed only Portland with an attendance of 38,396. The Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate went 42-37, second in the western division, under manager Bill Berrier. No one from the team had a great season though OF Jeffrey Leonard (.278/~.341/.364, .908 fielding) went on to a respectable major-league career.

Berrier's club improved to 52-32 in 1974 and won the western division title before falling 2 games to 1 in the finals to the Eugene Emeralds, eastern division champs. The club had three All-Stars - Leonard (.324/~.401/.428) and pitchers Rick Sutcliffe (10-3, 1 Sv, 3.32) and Guy Todd (11-3, 4 Sv, 1.72, the league leader in wins and ERA). Steve McNulty (8-5, 2.33) was second to Todd in ERA while 3B Pedro Guerrero hit a solid .316/~.362/.438 and tied for the league lead with 23 doubles. OF/1B Don Cardoza batted .319/~.372/.496 and led the league with 155 total bases; he tied for the lead with 7 triples.

Bellingham drew in the fewest fans in 1975 (21,357) and had the worst record in the league by far, 17-61. Berrier's club hit 40 points lower than the next team, scoring 90 runs less than any other team while allowing 115 more. Dave Stewart (0-5, 5.51) went on to the best career from the team, though Jim Evans (4-5, 2.82) had the best year, finishing 6th in the league in ERA.

Bellingham again outdrew Seattle a year before they were to become a Seattle farm team, 23.225 to 16,294. Berrier's team improved to 30-42 but again pulled up the rear in their division. Stewart was 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA while Jim Albert was the ace (8-3, 2.82 ERA, 4th in the league). Rudy Law (.335/~.415/.410, 19 for 23 in SB) and Tack Wilson (.329/~.449/.431, a league-best 36 SB in 46 tries and a league-high 8 triples) roamed the outfield, Mike Scioscia (.278/~.420/.457, a league-worst .944 fielding at catcher) showed good power and walked frequently. The sole All-Star was 1B George Kaage, who batted .280/~.379/.416.

In 1977 the team was replaced by the Bellingham Mariners.

Sources: 1974-1977 Baseball Guides

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1973 42-37 3rd Bill Berrier none
1974 52-32 1st Bill Berrier Lost League Finals
1975 17-61 6th Bill Berrier
1976 30-42 6th Bill Berrier