Sunday, May 14, 2006

Baseball's Unsung Heroes- SCOUTS!!

Riddle me this, Batman- who is responsible for putting his stamp of approval on the drafting of players such as Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, Kevin Mitchell, MOOKIE Wilson, Wally Backman and Gregg Jeffries, amongst countless others, but who will, most likely, never make it to the Hall of Fame, much less the public consciousness???? Who is the man who signed Tom Seaver to a deal with the Braves, only to see him be awarded to the Mets in a special lottery, then join the Mets organization shortly after? You won't find his name listed on the Mets website, but he is still a special consultant to GM Omar Minaya. The answer is Harry Minor who, at 78 years of age, is still a special scout / consultant for the Mets and has been for nearly 40 years, beginnning in 1967. His tenure has outlived players, managers, general managers and owners, and his usefulness has supposedly been put into question by computer geeks blessed with stats and not much else. With all of the amazing work that Minor has done for the organization all of these years, it's amazing that the one thing that he IS known for is being the main voice of dissension when the Mets were considering trading for Mo Vaughn. Minor apparently filed a report that destroyed Vaughn, ripping his defense and questioning his conditioning, ultimately urging the Mets not to take "this player under any circumstances!" Minor is also one of the founders, along with Dennis Gilbert, of the Professional Scouts Foundation, which helps to support scouts with at least 25 years in the business who have fallen upon hard times financially, a worthy cause, indeed.

Today's LA Times features a great article on Minor and fellow scout Bob Harrison, 85, currently with the Mariners organization. The article is written by one of baseball's greatest writers, Ross Newhan, whose son David plays for the Orioles, and a link can be found here:,1,588696.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=1&cset=true I believe that registration is required, but it's worth it, as the LA Times also offers the lovable grump, TJ Simers, and another great baseball columnist, Tim Brown, who offers an interesting take on the Bonds-Ruth chase. Well worth the (free) price of admission. And to Harry Minor, you are MAJOR in the hearts of Mets fans all over the world- keep up the great work, and here's to another 40 years!!!! (Now go sign us the next Doc!)

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