The World Champion Greenwood Ridge Dragons are an amateur baseball team that was started in 2001 by our owner, winemaker and centerfielder Allan Green. They play in the 55+ division of the Redwood Empire Baseball League in Santa Rosa, with a lineup that includes three former major league players. They have played in the stadiums of three of the California major league teams (the Giants, A’s, and Padres).

 

In 2007 they won the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series in Phoenix, Arizona, in the 50+ age group.  In 2008 they won eight straight games to defend their title. In 2009 they won the M.S.B.L. Fall Classic in Palm Beach, Florida, in the 52+ division.

 

In 2011 the Dragons won their fourth championship in five years at the World Series in Phoenix in the 60+ division.

Dragons are Best in the West

 

The Greenwood Ridge Dragons baseball team dominated the field, sweeping four games over Labor Day weekend to win the Best in the West tournament in Woodland, California. The Dragons victory in the 60-and-over division was their seventh championship in this tournament in the last eight years. The Dragons scorched teams from the East Bay, Sacramento, and Yuba City on their way to the title.

 

Aided by excellent defense, the Dragons pitching was superb throughout. Pat Carroll, Steve Chase, Larry Hendrickson, Dennis Brandlin, and Terry Fail gave up a total of seven runs in four games, with only four walks.

 

The Dragons offense was equally effective, averaging sixteen runs a game. Dale Skinner led the team with eleven hits, followed by Mark Adams with nine. John Angelesco, Bob Harchut, and Terry Fail each collected seven hits. Pat Carroll had a great and unusual stat line, going five for seven with ten walks.

 

Next on the agenda for the Dragons is the defense of their title in the Redwood Empire Baseball League 55-and-over division. The Dragons have clinched the #1 seed for the playoffs, sporting an 18-1 record. Following the R.E.B.L. playoffs the Dragons will head to Arizona to play in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series against top teams from the U.S. and other countries.

 

The Dragons were formed in 2001 by Allan Green, centerfielder and owner of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Philo. The nucleus of the league team is from Mendocino County, with additional players primarily from Sonoma County.

2015 Best in the West Tournament Champion Greenwood Ridge Dragons

 

Top row, from left: Steve Chase, Steve Brye, Mark Adams, Dale Skinner, John Angelesco, Dennis Brandlin, Terry Fail, Larry Hendrickson, Lou Goring, Lou Patler, Ray Allen.  Bottom row, from left: Bob Harchut, Rob Goldstein, Allan Green, Pat Carroll, John Metras, John Ludwig.

Pitcher Terry Fail won the semifinal game and saved the championship game for the Dragons.

Dragon starter Randy Olson was the winning pitcher in the championship game.

Dragons Win San Diego Tournament

 

With victories in two thrilling playoff games that came down to the last pitch, the Greenwood Ridge Dragons baseball team brought championship medals back with them from the 2013 Memorial Day Tournament in San Diego. In only three years, this tournament has grown to 16 teams from several Western states, including some of the top 60+ age group teams in the country.

 

The Dragons advanced to the playoffs despite a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the San Diego Mudcats. Behind 5-4 in the top of the last inning and down to his last strike, the Mudcats Alan McKee scorched the Dragons with a bases-loaded double, putting the Mudcats up 7-5. But the Dragons bounced back. With two out and two on, John Angelesco singled to left, scoring Mark Adams, but a perfect relay cut down Mark Fess, the tying run, at the plate to end the game.

 

The Dragons were presented an opportunity to avenge this defeat in the first round of the playoffs, facing the Mudcats again, this time at SDSU's new Tony Gwynn Stadium. The Dragons struggled to score, but Dragon starter Terry Fail kept the Mudcats in check as well. Trailing 4-3 in the last inning, the Mudcats got the tying run on base before Dragon shortstop Bob Harchut ended the threat and the game by running down a pop fly behind third base.

 

Facing the San Diego Storm in the championship game, Dragon starting pitcher Randy Olson was masterful, giving up only three runs in seven innings. But again the Dragons wasted numerous scoring opportunities and led only 5-3 in the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, the first two Storm batters reached base. Two outs later, the Storm had scored once and had the tying run at third. But Dragon reliever Terry Fail induced a ground ball to shortstop Mark Fess for the final out.

 

First baseman Jesse Bower led the Dragons with four hits in the championship game; Terry Fail and John Angelesco had three apiece. The Dragons played flawless defense, including excellent plays by shortstop Mark Fess and outfielders John Metras and Allan Green.

 

The victorious Dragons had several M.V.P. candidates, and every player made significant contributions during the six games. Jesse Bower was nine for 12 and gave up no earned runs in seven innings on the mound, as well as playing sterling defense at first base. Craig Rickeman was seven for 12 and did excellent work behind the plate for three games. John Angelesco had ten hits, and Terry Fail was five for 12 to go with a win and a save in the playoffs. Randy Olson pitched 13 innings and got the win in the championship game; Ernie Barten and Lanny Ropke also picked up wins on the mound.

 

The tournament M.V.P. award went to Dragon catcher Mark Adams, who had ten hits, played outstanding defense and controlled the base paths in all three games he caught.

Dragon catcher Mark Adams had ten hits and was named tournament M.V.P.

2014 Season

 

We had another great season in 2014. Former Dragon outfielders Jerry DeLorenzo and Tom Lion returned, and we picked up infielder Tom Whelan from our Bay Area league farm club. Tom was a huge addition; he ended up leading the league in hitting and won Rookie of the Year honors .

 

Over Memorial Day weekend we flew to San Diego to defend our 2013 title. We played well, earning a spot in the championship game, but in our sixth game in three days we ran out of gas (and pitching) and had to settle for second place. This is a great tournament, with perfect weather, nice fields, hospitable hosts and excellent competition (sixteen 60+ teams from all over the western U.S.).

We were able to repeat as 60+ champions at the Woodland Labor Day tournament primarily due to outstanding pitching. We captured our fifth straight Redwood Empire Baseball League trophy, thanks in large part to our version of Madison Bumgarner, league M.V.P. Jesse Bower.

 

We continued playing well for seven games in the World Series in Arizona. We earned the #2 seed for the playoffs, and beat a seasoned Chicago team in the semi-finals. Once again we faced the deep and formidable L.A. Athletics in the championship game, and after injuries to our first two pitchers we were no match for their offensive barrage.

 

Our leadoff hitter Jim Hurt had a mammoth week, leading the team with 21 hits, 12 runs scored and 16 RBIs. Starting pitchers Larry Hendrickson and Jesse Bower each won two games to get us to the championship game.

 

 

2013 Season

 

The 2013 season was another great year for the Dragons. We won our fourth straight R.E.B.L. league championship as well as both the regional tournaments we entered. We moved up to the 60+ division of the "Best of the West" Labor Day Tournament in Woodland and won that with four straight victories.

 

New additions to our league team Eli Duran and Marty Wilcox helped fill the void left by injuries to pitchers Gary Spitzack and Dennis McCroskey, but even so we leaned heavily on Jesse Bower, who pitched more than half our innings. He was particularly impressive in the playoffs after we lost the first game in the best two-of-three series, pitching 14 innings in one day, giving up only one run to carry us to the title.

 

Our streak of tournament wins came to an end at the World Series in Arizona. We lost our semifinal game to a strong L.A. Athletics team, finishing third out of 34 teams. New recruits Gary Nelson and Mike Anderson played huge roles in getting the Dragons into the playoffs.

 

In a short ceremony before our first game in Arizona our centerfielder/winemaker Allan Green was inducted into the M.S.B.L. World Series Hall of Fame. This is a great honor, since over 6,000 players participate in the World Series every year yet there are only fifty or so members of the Hall of Fame. At the post-season awards banquet he was also inducted into the R.E.B.L. Hall of Fame, joining the sixteen other players who have been so recognized since the league was formed in 1990.

 

 

2014 R.E.B.L. Champion Greenwood Ridge Dragons