Last weekend, our friends at the National Baseball Hall of Fame opened its new Diamond Mines exhibit dedicated to the scouting profession. With close to 100 members of this unsung profession — representing 20 big league clubs — in attendance for the festivities, visitors on Saturday morning also had the rare opportunity to hear first-hand from some of those veterans who have searched far and wide for the game’s next star.
SABR members Pat Gillick, a Hall of Fame executive, and Roland Hemond, the 2011 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, were on hand for the unveiling of Diamond Mines, as well as Roberta Mazur, director of the Scout of the Year Program which funded Diamond Mines for its initial two-year run at the Hall of Fame. They participated in a Voices of the Game roundtable discussion in the Hall of Fame’s Grandstand Theater on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
Diamond Mines features three-dimensional artifacts such as radar guns and stopwatches that have served as scouts’ tools of the trade for decades. The exhibit will provide an insider’s view of the essential link between the amateur game and professional baseball and will also recognize Scout of the Year Award winners, an honor given by the Scout of the Year Program since 1984.
The exhibit also features a searchable database of scouting reports at scouts.baseballhall.org.
SABR’s Scouts Research Committee provided data for the exhibit from its groundbreaking “Who-Signed-Whom” database linking more than 11,000 current and former major leaguers, with the names of their signing or recommending scout, the first time this information has been available for the general public. The Scouts Committee’s relational database includes a registry of more than 7,000 professional baseball scouts, with information compiled over the past decade by a dedicated team of volunteer researchers led by Rod Nelson and the late Jim Sandoval, assisted by database specialists Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman and committee co-chair Joe Hamrahi.
Nelson, Lahman and SABR Vice-President Bill Nowlin were in attendance at the unveiling on Saturday, May 4.
“There’s absolutely no way that a general manager can get out and see every professional and every amateur player, so he has to have scouts that he can trust, that he has confidence in,” Gillick told SABR member Bill Francis at BaseballHall.org. “They are vital to an organization because they are a lifeline that feeds the talent from the high school level or the collegiate level to the major leagues.
“You go and see a play on Broadway and you see the entertainment that is provided and never see the people that really are behind the scenes – the producers, the directors, and the people that make these things happen. And that’s the same thing with the scouts. The scouts are the behind-the-scenes guys, sometimes they are the forgotten people.”
To learn more about the SABR Scouts Research Committee, click here.
- Related link: To download our one-of-a-kind book on baseball scouts, Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession, visit SABR.org/ebooks
Originally published: May 6, 2013. Last Updated: May 6, 2013.