“She knew a ball player when she saw one”
-Phillies owner Bob Carpenter on the hiring of Edith Houghton, the first female MLB scout
After throwing batting practice to the Cleveland Indians, a reporter asked me: “what’s next?” I smiled and shared, “I have dreams, I haven’t even dreamt yet.”
I am now blogging from Phoenix, Arizona where I am participating in the MLB Scout Development Program. The school is from September 25-October 7. The Cleveland Indians sponsored me. And another dream has come true.
Today, was the first day. We had a 3 hour meeting filled with basic information of what to expect. Then we had staff and participant introductions. We were suppose to mention whether we had played pro ball. So when, it was my turn, I stood up, with my stomach in nervous knots, I gave my name and mentioned that I had not played pro ball. I heard laughter. I continued, “but I did coach half a season with the Brockton Rox of the Can Am league and 3 years of college D3 baseball as an assistant…” The laughter stopped and I sat down. Then Frank Marcos, the scouting bureau director, yells out, “Didn’t you also throw BP?”
According to the MLSB handbook. The purpose of a scout is to find players, evaluate players, and sign players. The number one listed quality of a scout: passion. I am so thrilled to be learning about how to scout players; to see another side of baseball; and to become a better person. So far, the vibe at the school is that instructors want us to learn and that it is ok to make mistakes. I feel relieved. And ready to learn.
As I go through this week and live out another remarkable dream, I will remember the dreams of Christina-Taylor Green. One of her dreams was to play major league baseball. Her dream ended when she was killed in the Tucson shooting last February; she was 9 years old. When I threw BP, I wore a memorial patch on my jersey sleeve in tribute to her. At scout school, I will wear the purple bracelet that her mother gave me. One side reads, “Christina-taylorgreen.org” and the other side has one simple word: “hope.” It is my hope that girls will grow up knowing that they too can become scouts, that dreams come true, and that baseball really is a game for all.