Scouts play one of the most pivotal roles in the long term success of any professional baseball team. Scouts provide a significant amount of information in terms of which players a team will target in the draft, trade discussions, and free agency. As teams are searching the globe for major league caliber talent, scouts are often sent to foreign countries to find the next big import. Scouts watch high school, college, and major league games every day.
A scout works long hours, travels often, and away from their family and friends. A scout's work often consumes all their time. Scouts are an integral piece to the multi-billion dollar industry that is Major League Baseball today. Their time and effort has perpetually fruited baseball's immense and diverse talent pool.
Scouts do not make a significant amount of money, despite the amount of work and energy that is put into one of the most important jobs in baseball. They do their job because they love the game, not because of the money. Scouts do not get pensions and there is no financial security if these workers become ill, lose their job, or retire.
The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, founded and ran primarily by Dennis Gilbert and Cindy Picerni, provides a fundraising efforts for needs of baseball scouts.. The foundation holds an annual dinner and auction to raise money for the scouts.
This year, the dinner included a send-off for commissioner Bud Selig, who is slated to officially retire within the week. His tenure as commissioner was discussed by a panel that included hall of famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, and was led by Larry King. Dusty Baker and Robert Shapiro, as well as scouts Tony DeMacio, Doug Mapson, Orrin Freeman, Tom Kotchman, Jim Marshall, Art Stewart, and Jim Walton were presented with awards. The wonderful evening ended with all attendees in laughter as Garry Shandling pitched a masterful comedic delivery reflecting on the pace of the dinner and baseball.
The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation is extremely helpful for scouts, and allows for an emergency fund to protect baseball scouts and their families for when life doesn't go as planned.