Doster: Red Sox scout Tom Kotchman is hardest working man in baseball

From Adam Doster at on November 21, 2014:

The Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame lacks the gravitas of its distant cousin in Cooperstown. Mounted on a brick wall at Hammond Stadium, the Minnesota Twins’ spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., the museum’s nine plaques are stuffed between two cement support beams and below a red water pipe. A Grapefruit League fan could easily stroll by the display without registering its presence.

In the shadows on the far left end, beside bronze portraits honoring Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings and Twins general manager Terry Ryan, hangs the emblazoned image of Tom Kotchman. His pupils have eroded slightly, giving them an inadvertently accurate blue hue, while wavy hair flips out over the collar of his golf shirt. The inscription underneath — three paragraphs, 191 words — is a lovely tribute to the area scout and minor league manager who has spent nearly four decades digging for and molding young baseball talent.

It’s also written in the past tense, which is a bit misleading. Just a 10 minute drive along a southwest Florida parkway, beyond the palm trees and patio furniture stores, Kotchman could be found one day last spring working two cell phones in an uphill battle to wrap up his hectic scouting season while simultaneously preparing for his 35th managerial campaign, his first as skipper of the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He muttered to himself in between calls. Retirement was the last thing on his mind.

Kotchman, 60, has forged a career as accomplished and unorthodox as any in professional baseball. He’s won 1,740 games as a minor league manager, third on the active victories list; it’s a stunning achievement considering the abbreviated length of the Short Season Single A and Rookie league schedules, the levels at which he’s managed since 1990. Joe Maddon, then of the Tampa Rays and now of the Cubs, has said Kotchman might be the “best rookie league manager in history.”

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Originally published: November 21, 2014. Last Updated: November 21, 2014.