Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why Doesn't the Hall of Fame Recognize Scouts?

From "Scouts hold fifth annual fundraiser" at

In an event that has evolved into a successful mixture of show business, star power and scouting, The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Fifth Annual "In the Spirit of the Game" dinner and World's Largest Auction of Sports Memorabilia was held Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The fundraiser, which has become a winter tradition in the baseball world, raises money to help scouts who have fallen on hard times. Many longtime scouts, especially elderly ones, lack basic needs such as health care and savings, and sometimes get less support from the teams to which they were devoted for several years.

On another level, the Baseball Hall of Fame does not recognize baseball scouts in an official capacity, so the PBSF has honored scouts who the Hall of Fame has not.

Even the Oscars recognize many below-the-line workers. Baseball scouts have been contributing to the game since forever. So why no love?

From a 2003 USA Today column by Jon Saraceno:

The Hall is composed of 256 men, including 191 major-leaguers, 18 Negro Leaguers, 23 executives, 16 managers and eight umpires.

It has zero scouts.

It has special wings dedicated to broadcasters and writers. Despite [scout Phil] Pote's aggressiveness, induction for scouts is highly unlikely. There's some debate in baseball whether any non-players should be admitted to the highly exclusive club.

The Hall is in the process of expanding a scouts' exhibit that began in 1994 to make it more comprehensive in an effort to detail the trials and tribulations of the most under-appreciated group in baseball.

Seems like a pretty glaring omission to this baseball fan.