A special group of people near and dear to my heart will finally get recognition this year as the Baseball Hall of Fame opens up its Diamond Mines exhibit honoring professional and amateur scouts. Thanks to the work of my esteemed SABR colleagues Rod Nelson, the late Jim Sandoval, Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman, data linking more than 11,000 players with the names of their signing or recommending scout will now be available to the general public. I've seen the work first-hand, and it's truly some amazing stuff. Below is the full press release of today's announcement.
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The story of professional baseball scouts is almost as old as the National Pastime itself. So in preparation for the first exhibition to provide an in-depth look at the scouting profession, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum teamed its research efforts with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to unearth as much information as possible to share the work of scouts with global audiences.
The result is a new online interactive featuring more than 14,000 scouting reports, and growing, covering 441 scouts and 4,444 players from 1943 through 2006, available through a database that will live at www.baseballhall.org, beginning May 4, when the Museum formally opens Diamond Mines, a two-year exhibit in Cooperstown that details the contributions of scouts on the National Pastime.
“We are grateful to SABR and its team of dedicated researchers who have provided an unprecedented level of valuable information on scouts, allowing us to collectively reach audiences in Cooperstown, through Diamond Mines, and fans around the globe through our interactive database, which connects scouts with the amateur players they follow,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The results of this collaboration augment the efforts of the Scout of the Year Foundation, providing a telling story of the role that the unsung heroes play in recognizing future major league potential in young, untapped talent.”
SABR provided data 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 SABR 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.
“Within the industry, a database like this is something that has been long overdue,” said Marc Appleman, Executive Director of SABR. “We are honored to be working with the NationalBaseball Hall of Fame and Museum on this project, and we think this is just the start of a long-term relationship between SABR and the Museum that can share research with fans.”
The Hall of Fame and SABR have collaborated since 1971, when SABR was founded in a meeting room in the Hall of Fame Library just days after the summer induction ceremony. The two organizations have worked hand-in-hand on many projects designed to collect, preserve, and share baseball history, including research on the Negro Leagues and women in baseball, biographic, bibliographic, photographic, and statistical research projects.
The Museum will unveil Diamond Mines on May 4 with a cast of baseball luminaries on hand for the celebration. Diamond Mines, made possible with the support of the Scout of the Year Foundation, will begin a scheduled two-year run in the Museum’s second floor and feature a computer interactive of an Anatomy of a Scouting Report that includes more than two dozen reports on players.
The exhibit will feature 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 May 4 opening will feature a 10 a.m. Voices of the Game program in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater. Guests for the roundtable discussion on the role of scouts in baseball will include Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick; longtime big league executive and winner of the 2011 Buck O’Neil Award Roland Hemond; Scout of the Year Program Executive Director Roberta Mazur; and Texas Rangers scout and senior special assistant Don Welke.
Tickets for the Voices of the Game event are free but limited and must be reserved in advance by calling 607-547-0397 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants in the Museum’s Membership Program can reserve tickets immediately. If any tickets remain, non-members may reserve beginning Monday, April 29.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day Weekend through the day before Labor Day, the Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Brad Horn, Senior Director of Communications and Education
Craig Muder, Director of Communications