June 1, 2023

A Deep and Interesting Dive Into the World of Scouting

April 15, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball's Endangered Species: Inside the Craft of Scouting by Those Who Lived It book coverBaseball scouts usually fly under the radar. While fans follow the exploits of their favorite players, few know anything about the scouts who signed them. Good teams and die-hard baseball fans, however, understand and appreciate their contributions.

Author Lee Lowenfish takes a deep, interesting dive into the world of scouts in Baseball’s Endangered Species: Inside the Craft of Scouting by Those Who Have Lived It. His book is divided into three parts: The Cardinals-Yankees Rivalry That Dominated Baseball, 1919-1964; Tales from Baseball’s Expansion Era and Two Veteran Scouts Bookend Three Baseball Monogamists.

Part One focuses on Charley Barrett of the St. Louis Cardinals and Paul Krichell of the New York Yankees. It is perhaps the most interesting section as it demonstrates how Branch Rickey’s famed farm system was built. Given the Cardinals’ success, the Yankees wanted to emulate it.

The expansion era highlights Red Murff and Art Stewart and their work with the Mets, Expos and Royals.

The final section features scouts Gary Nickels, Paul Snyder, Gene Bennett, Billy Blitzer and Bill Enos.

Lowenfish gives extensive background on each scout, adding a rich layer to the book. Of course, he includes stories about the top players who were signed, but he also focuses on some of the overlooked players.

The book is laden with stories about scouts and players. Being a scout is a tough job, one that demands sacrifices, dedication and savviness. It’s a career filled with more misses than successes.

Lowenfish’s extensive research and in-depth interviews elevate the book to “must read” status for baseball fans.

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