Hear Baseball’s Talent-Finders Tell Their Stories on Saturday as Museum Unveils 'Diamond Mines'
Scouts Exhibit Opens May 4 with Voices of the Game Program Featuring Hall of Famer Pat Gillick and Buck O’Neil Award Winner Roland Hemond
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Their stories document the game at its very inception, where the journey to the big leagues – and sometimes the Hall of Fame – begins. For baseball scouts, it’s the record of hits and misses, the can’t-miss prospects and the 37th-round steals.
Those stories will come alive this weekend when the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opens its new Diamond Mines exhibit dedicated to the labor of scouts. With some of the game’s top talent-finders in attendance for the festivities, Museum visitors will have a chance to experience those stories first hand at a special Voices of the Game event.
Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, 2011 Buck O’Neil Award winner Roland Hemond, Texas Rangers scout and senior special advisor Don Welke and Miami Marlins Vice President of Player Personnel Dan Jennings will participate in a Voices of the Game roundtable discussion at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 as part of the opening weekend of Diamond Mines. Tickets for this event, which will be held in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater, are free but limited and must be reserved in advance by calling 607-547-0397 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Voices of the Game event will also feature a special appearance by Roberta Mazur, director of the Scout of the Year Program which funded Diamond Mines for its initial two-year run at the Hall of Fame.
Gillick, elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011, served as a scout and farm director before eventually becoming one of the most successful general managers in the history of the game. Hemond has worked behind the scenes for more than 60 years as a scout, talent evaluator and general manager. Welke began his career in the 1960s and helped sign the core of the dominant Blue Jays teams of the 1980s and 1990s.
The Museum will unveil the new interactive exhibit Diamond Mines on Saturday, May 4 with dozens of scouts and other team personnel on hand for the celebration. The exhibit, located on the Museum’s second floor, will feature a computer interactive of an Anatomy of a Scouting Report that includes more than two dozen reports on players.
Also on Saturday, the Museum will host a Behind the Exhibit event with Diamonds Mines exhibit curator John Odell and scout Jim Martz at 1 p.m. in the Bullpen Theater. Martz donated dozens of scouting reports for the exhibit and online database from his tenure with the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and the Major League Scouting Bureau. This behind-the-scenes look at Diamond Mines is included with Museum admission.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Museum visitors can stop by the Learning Center for the Mining for Talent interactive program. Hall of Fame staff will present visitors with several scouting reports on some of baseball's all-time greats with the identifying information removed. Fans can then sift through the data to build their team based on the scouting reports.
Diamond Mines 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.
Through Diamond Mines, fans will also be able to enter the name of a big league player and search for scouting reports filed on them throughout the years. Nearly 12,000 scouting reports covering 400 scouts and 4,000 players – about 42 percent of all big leaguers since 1952 – will be available through an internet database at scouts.baseballhall.org.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) provided data for the Diamond Mines interactive, 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.
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.