The 1946 season was Earl Sheely's third year as manager of the Sacramento Solons. One of baseball's real gentlemen on and off the field, Earl's value to the team was best demonstrated in the winter of 1945 when directors of the Sacramento Baseball Association signed him to a new three-year contract at $10,000 per year.
A competative athlete who hated to lose, and worried about it, Sheely broke into baseball in 1921 as a first baseman with the Vancouver Club of the Northwestern League. From there he went to Walla Walla, Spokane and Salt Lake City.
In 1921 he was sold to the Chicago White Sox and remained there until 1928 when he was shipped down to Sacramento.
After one roaring season in Sacramento, during which he was the league's second best batter, Sheely was drafted by Pittsburgh. He was shipped down again to San Francisco in 1930, led the Pacific Coast League in hitting and went right up to the majors again in 1931, this time with the Boston Nationals.
He rounded out his playing career in the Pacific Coast league with Lon Angeles in 1932, Portland in 1933, and Seattle in 1934. He had by then converted himself to a catcher and finished out his playing life as a receiver.
After 1934, Sheely coached baseball at St. Mary's College and scouted the West Coast for the Boston Red Sox until he affiliated with Sacramento in 1944.
Sheely was known around the league as a smart baseball man, grounded in all phases
of the game and particularly good in handling men.