Clark: Scouts shaped the world of baseball

From SABR member Bill Clark, a former winner of the Scouts Committee’s Roland Hemond Award, at the Columbia Daily Tribune on December 28, 2011:

Two days before Christmas, Ol’ Clark received a package from the Society of American Baseball Research — a book titled “Can He Play? A Look at Baseball Scouts and Their Profession.”

It was the perfect Christmas gift for an old curmudgeon who prefers not to give or receive Christmas gifts. Humbug!

The book written by many and edited by Jim Sandoval and Bill Nowlin tells the tales of scouting giants from the 19th century forward. The cover picture is of Tom Greenwade, a New York Yankee scout from Willard, Mo., with his arm around a young Oklahoma shortstop he had just signed. The kid’s name was Mickey Mantle.

Inside were 30 or so biographies of characters, such as Sinister Dick Kinsella, Sloppy Thurston, Broadway Charley Wagner, Bob Zuk, Cy Slapnica, Gene Bennett, Greenwade and Charley Barrett, known as “The King of the Weeds.”

Then, to my great surprise, there were five stories and pictures of those who had been influential in the discovery and development of international scouting — and the game itself.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 3, 2012. Last Updated: January 3, 2012.