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The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.


EYES FOR TALENT:
THE ART & SCIENCE OF BASEBALL SCOUTING

A collaborative project of the Baseball Reliquary and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at California State University, Los Angeles

PROJECT NARRATIVE
            In the history of the national pastime, baseball scouts have been, and remain, the most anonymous and unappreciated subculture. Although major league baseball could not exist without scouts, and its clubs rely heavily on them for discovering and evaluating young players, the impact of scouts on both the games evolution and the high quality of play on the diamond has been largely neglected. This project, one of the first major surveys on baseball scouting, will provide the public with a unique entrĂ©e into a previously inaccessible world and will allow for a greater understanding and appreciation of baseball indeed, for some, it will result in an entirely new way of looking at the national pastime.
            While the project will present an historical overview of baseball scouting, including its origins in the early 20th century, special emphasis will be placed on the so-called "golden age of scouting" from World War II through the mid-1960s, a period which featured many colorful personalities and was marked by more intuitive and individualistic approaches to evaluating talent. This period will be compared to and contrasted with the current era, which finds some professional baseball clubs placing a greater emphasis on technological and computer-based methodologies for player evaluation and analysis.
            The project, Eyes for Talent: The Art & Science of Baseball Scouting, will feature three primary components:
            1) Oral Histories A special topics course, entitled "Baseball Scouts Oral History," will be offered through the Department of History at California State University, Los Angeles in the Fall Quarter 2007. The course, taught by Professor Francisco Balderrama, explores the critical significance of baseball scouts to the national pastime from an oral history perspective with attention to theory as well as practice.
            2) Exhibition An exhibition, to be presented at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, will be held in the Spring Quarter 2008 (March-June 2008). The exhibition will examine the history and evolution of baseball scouting and will include photographs, artifacts and documents, and artworks. The oral histories conducted by students enrolled in Professor Balderramas course will also be incorporated into the displays.
            3) Special Collections The interviews conducted by students in Professor Balderramas course, "Baseball Scouts Oral History," will form the foundation of a baseball scouts archive to be housed in the Special Collections department of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library. In addition, the archive will include exhibition documentation and a variety of research materials, all of which will be available for access by the general public and the academic community.

 CONTACT
            For further information on Eyes for Talent: The Art & Science of Baseball Scouting, contact Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, at P.O. Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net.

 

PROJECT PERSONNEL 

Project Director: Terry Cannon, Executive Director, The Baseball Reliquary 

Librarian: Alice K. Kawakami, University Librarian, John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, California State University, Los Angeles

Advisory Committee: 

Francisco E. Balderrama, Professor of Chicano Studies and History, California State University, Los Angeles
            Francisco Balderrama was selected Outstanding University Professor at California State University, Los Angeles in 1997.  He served as Chair of Chicano Studies from 1984 to 1993 and 1997 to 1999.  He also has held faculty and administrative appointments at Texas Tech University, Adams State College, and The Claremont Colleges.  Balderrama is a Chicano historian with a special interest in the American West, particularly California and Los Angeles.  He offers a variety of courses in Chicano History for the Chicano Studies Department and the American West for the History Department.  Balderrama serves as an advisor for "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues," an ongoing collaborative project of the Baseball Reliquary and John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, California State University, Los Angeles.  In addition, he has taught two oral history seminars related to this project.  He will also teach the oral history course for the current project, "Eyes for Talent: The Art & Science of Baseball Scouting."  Balderrama’s degrees are in History: a B.A. from Loyola University of Los Angeles, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA.

 Cesar Caballero, Dean and University Librarian, John M. Pfau Library, California State University, San Bernardino
            Cesar Caballero earned a degree in Business Administration in 1972 at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 1973, he enrolled in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, completing his M.L.I.S. the following year. He has worked in many capacities as a professional librarian, including Associate University Librarian for Public Services, University of Texas at El Paso, 1995-2002, and Acting University Librarian, California State University, Los Angeles, 2004-2006. In the latter position, Caballero was instrumental in organizing and developing the collaborative project, "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues." Effective July 1, 2007, Caballero assumed the position of Dean and University Librarian at the John M. Pfau Library at California State University, San Bernardino.

 Dennis Gilbert, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Chicago White Sox
            After building his insurance business, Dennis Gilbert began his baseball career as an agent in 1980 when he represented Hall of Famer George Brett and later formed the Beverly Hills Sports Council.  In November 2000, he joined the Chicago White Sox as a special assistant to Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, assisting the team in contract negotiations as well as consulting on other baseball-related issues.  In January 2003, he co-founded, with Roland Hemond, Dave Yoakum, and Harry Minor, the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to assist scouts who have experienced financial or medical setbacks.  Prior to joining the White Sox, Gilbert was involved in building a top-flight baseball stadium at Southwest College in South Central Los Angeles that serves as the home field for Major League Baseball’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program.  The ballpark, Dennis Gilbert Field, was opened on January 20, 2002.  In 2004, Gilbert was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from William Howard Taft University, Santa Ana, California, in recognition of his philanthropic efforts in support of inner city youth and the welfare of former baseball scouts.  Gilbert continues his successful insurance practice in Beverly Hills, California.

 Pat Gillick, General Manager, Philadelphia Phillies
            A graduate of the University of Southern California, Pat Gillick pitched for the 1958 Trojan baseball team which won the NCAA championship.  Following a five-year playing career in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system, Gillick began his front-office career in 1963 when he became Assistant Farm Director for the Houston Colt .45s, eventually working his way up to a position as the team’s Scouting Director.  As General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, Gillick led the club to five division titles (1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1993) and two World Series championships (1992 and 1993).  In 1995, Gillick was named General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles, guiding the club to two playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997.  Gillick then became General Manager of the Seattle Mariners and helped build one of the strongest teams in the American League during his tenure from 2000 through 2003.  The Mariners reached the American League Championship finals in both 2000 and 2001, with the latter team posting a phenomenal 116-46 record, tying the Major League Baseball record for wins in a season.  Gillick was named Baseball Executive of the Year for 2001.  The Philadelphia Phillies hired Gillick as General Manager in November 2005, and he continues in this position.

 Roland Hemond, Executive Advisor, Chicago White Sox
            One of the most respected and experienced executives in baseball, Roland Hemond rejoined the Chicago White Sox as an executive advisor in November 2000.  A three-time recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year award, Hemond has well over fifty years of professional baseball experience, including 23 seasons as General Manager of the White Sox (1971-1985) and Baltimore Orioles (1988-1995) and five years as a senior executive vice president with the Arizona Diamondbacks (1996-2000).  Hemond has served as president of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America, a nonprofit organization that helps former and current players and baseball personnel in need.  Along with Dennis Gilbert, Dave Yoakum, and Harry Minor, Hemond co-founded the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation to provide assistance to long-time scouts who are in need of financial support.  Three annual awards are named in Hemond’s honor: the Roland Hemond Award, presented by the White Sox in honor of those who are dedicated to bettering the lives of others through extraordinary personal sacrifice; the Baseball America Award, presented to the person who has made major contributions to scouting and player development; and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Award, given to the executive who has displayed great respect for scouts.

 Jeff Kaley, Filmmaker and Producer
            Jeff Kaley begins his twelfth season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, working in the merchanising department.  A baseball enthusiast of the highest order, he produced and hosted his own weekly baseball show, The Seventh Inning Stretch, for Time Warner Cable in 2002-2003. A graduate of the Los Angeles Film School, Kaley has filmed many special events for MLB.com, the Scout of the Year Foundation, and Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI).  He has collected 100 hours of film footage and interviews with baseball scouts around the country for a forthcoming documentary, and has also begun to chronicle the rich history of inner city baseball in Los Angeles.

 Kevin Kerrane, Professor of English, University of Delaware
            A member of the University of Delaware faculty since 1967, Kevin Kerrane (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) has edited several anthologies of drama and has co-edited (with Ben Yagoda) The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism.  He is the author of Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting, selected by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as one of "The 100 Best Sports Books of All Time."  Kerrane often teaches study-abroad courses in England and Ireland, and much of his current research deals with Irish drama.  He is also finishing a book begun by the late Robert Hogan, a distinguished University of Delaware professor.  Hogan’s The Presidential Voice will analyze the rhetorical styles of the twentieth-century presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.

 Roberta Mazur, Executive Director, Scout of the Year Program & President, Scout of the Year Foundation
            Roberta Mazur serves as Executive Director of the Scout of the Year Program, which was founded in 1984 by Tony Pacheco, Jim Russo, and Hugh Alexander to bring positive recognition to the profession of scouting and to honor scouts who have devoted time and energy to, and have shown professionalism in, the scouting field.  Mazur also serves as President of the Scout of the Year Foundation, which was officially formed in 1998 to raise funds to establish a permanent exhibition on scouting at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

 Phil Pote, Scout, Seattle Mariners
            A professional baseball scout for over four decades, Phil Pote is one of the truly legendary figures in Los Angeles baseball history.  A graduate of Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences (now California State University, Los Angeles), where he received his B.A. in Physical Education, Pote was a pitcher and outfielder for the college baseball team from 1954 to 1956, before playing professionally in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league organization.  After his playing days were over, Pote returned to Los Angeles, where he coached at Fremont and Locke High Schools and later at Los Angeles City College.  He promoted interest in baseball by teaching and counseling young players, increasing their self-esteem and encouraging them to stay in school and off the streets. Among the future major leaguers Pote helped develop were Bobby Tolan, Willie Crawford, and Bob Watson.  With the demise of inner city baseball in recent years, Pote has worked closely with the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program in organizing youth clinics and raising funds to build and maintain ball fields, hoping that the neighborhoods of Los Angeles will once again produce major league players.  Currently a part-time scout for the Seattle Mariners, the tireless Pote has also in recent years campaigned for the inclusion of scouts in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

 Tracy Ringolsby, National Baseball Writer, Rocky Mountain News,  Denver, Colorado
            A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Tracy Ringolsby has covered baseball for over 30 seasons, both as a beat reporter and as a national writer.  He has worked for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver since 1992 and has covered the Colorado Rockies since they began play as a National League expansion franchise in 1993.  Ringolsby was elected the 2005 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America and was presented the award, given annually to a sportswriter "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing," at the 2006 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony.  In addition to being a consummate beat writer, Ringolsby was one of the first baseball writers to concentrate on scouting and player development.  His focus on these vital areas, which largely had been overlooked, enabled Ringolsby to provide more depth to his beat coverage.  In 1981, he helped found Baseball America, a publication which was initially devoted almost exclusively to amateur and minor league baseball and matters related to player development.

 Jim Sandoval, Scouts Committee Co-Chairman, Society for American Baseball Research
            Jim Sandoval co-chairs the Society for American Baseball Research’s Scouts Committee, which was formed in 1994 to compile a complete roster of scouts with biographical and career information for each and a listing of major league ballplayers signed.  The committee is also in the process of developing and writing a book on the history of scouting.  Since 2001, the committee has recognized a baseball executive who has made significant contributions to the scouting community with the Roland Hemond Award.  Past recipients have included Roland Hemond, Bob Howsam, Pat Gillick, Paul Snyder, Paul Beeston, and Bob Fontaine.

 John Schuerholz, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Atlanta Braves
            A native of Baltimore and graduate of Towson University, John Schuerholz began his front-office career in 1966 in the Baltimore Orioles organization.  He moved to the Kansas City Royals two years later, where he held various positions for 13 years, before being named Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Royals from 1981-1990.  Schuerholz has been the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Atlanta Braves since 1990 and during his 16-year tenure, the Braves have had the best record in baseball, winning 14 straight divisional titles, five National League pennants, and one World Series.  Much of the Braves’ phenomenal success has been attributed to Schuerholz, a staunch advocate of scouting who built one of professional baseball’s preeminent farm systems.  In 2006, Schuerholz published a book, Built to Win, which chronicled his tenure with the Braves and shed light on some of his most important moves as a general manager.

 Mark Shapiro, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cleveland Indians
            A native of Baltimore, Mark Shapiro played four years of football for Princeton University, graduating in 1989 with a degree in History.  Following graduation, he worked in the real estate development industry in Southern California before joining the Cleveland Indians organization in January 1992 as an assistant in Baseball Operations.  He was promoted to Assistant Director of Minor League Operations in 1993, then to Director of Minor League Operations from 1994-1998; in the latter position, he oversaw all aspects of the Indians’ player development system and Latin American operations.  Following a stint as Assistant General Manager, Shapiro was elevated to the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Indians in November 2001.  During his tenure, he has reconstructed the major league club and revitalized its player development system through a series of shrewd trades, strong drafts, and resourceful free agent signings.  The fruits of Shapiro’s labor paid off in 2005 when the Indians won 93 games, and both The Sporting News and Baseball America named him Executive of the Year.

 Mark Winegardner, Professor of English, Florida State University
            Mark Winegardner (MFA, George Mason University) specializes in writing both fiction and non-fiction.  He has received numerous grants and fellowships and his books have been chosen as among the best of the year by the New York Times Book Review, the New York Public Library, the American Library Association, and USA Today.  His book Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys with a Major League Scout (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990) chronicled the season he spent traveling through the ballparks and back roads of the Midwest in the company of Tony Lucadello, one of the greatest baseball scouts of all time.  In 2002, Winegardner was named the Janet Burroway Professor of English at Florida State University and was chosen by Random House to write the sequel to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather; that novel, The Godfather Returns, was published in 2004.

John Young, Founder, Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI)
            A former Major League Baseball player and scout, John Young founded the highly successful Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) program in Los Angeles in 1989 to provide disadvantaged youth an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball.  Now in its 19th season, Young’s concept grew from a local program for boys in South Central Los Angeles to an international campaign encompassing more than 200 cities and as many as 120,000 male and female participants a year.  The RBI program has been administered by Major League Baseball since 1991.


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