Florham Park, NJ/New York February 3, 2009 -- Twelve veteran baseball scouts have been named to the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame (PBSHOF) for 2009 induction.
This is the second year of honorees, with the selections announced by The Goldklang Group, and sponsored by The Topps Company, who also include eight additional scouts in a trading card set paired with star players they scouted.
With players, executives, umpires, writers and broadcasters honored annually in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame, this is a unique honor given to those at the very foundation of player development for the Major Leagues. The inductees are commemorated with their names on the walls at the six minor league clubs operated by the Goldklang Group (Charleston RiverDogs, Ft. Myers Miracle, Hudson Valley Renegades, St. Paul Saints, Brockton Rox and Sioux Falls Canaries).
This year’s honorees include the great Tom Greenwade, the only inductee who is deceased. Greenwade had a long scouting career for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees and is best remembered for his signing of Mickey Mantle, and later of Bobby Murcer. Greenwade, who died in 1986, also gave Branch Rickey the definitive scouting report that made him decide that Jackie Robinson was the player best suited to integrate the Major Leagues.
Greenwade, along with the Phillies’ Marti Wolever will be honored this season in St. Paul. Honored at Hudson Valley will be Joe McIlvaine (Minnesota) and Joe Rigoli (St. Louis). Honored at Brockton will be Rene Mons (Milwaukee) and Roland Johnson (New York Mets). Honored at Ft. Myers will be Al Goldis (long time scout), and John Barr (San Francisco). Honored at Sioux Falls will be Bob Fontaine (Toronto) and Gary Hughes (Chicago Cubs). Honored at Charleston will be Tom Burns (Toronto) and Howard McCullough (Arizona).
Their formal inductions will take place on six different dates to be announced.
The scouts selected for inclusion on Topps cards in 2009, paired with a prominent player they have signed, are Paul Cogan, now a scout forCleveland (paired with his “find”, C.C. Sabathia), Clarence Johns, Houston (Russell Martin), Mark Wilson,Minnesota (Joe Mauer), Pat Daugherty, Colorado (Matt Holliday), Larry Pardo, Milwaukee (Ryan Braun), Fred Repke, Tampa Bay (Evan Longoria), Matt Lundin, Philadelphia (Chase Utley), and Darrell Conner, Philadelphia (Cole Hamels).
(Last year’s inaugural year inductees were John Tumminia (Chicago White Sox), Tom Giordano (Texas), Tom Kotchman (Los Angeles Angels), Rudy Santin (San Francisco), Lennie Merullo (MLB Scouting Bureau), Buzz Bowers (Boston), Lon Joyce (Los Angeles Dodgers), Donny Rowland(New York Yankees), Brad Sloan (Los Angeles Angels), Art Stewart (Kansas City), Phil Rizzo (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Hep Cronin (Atlanta).
The Goldklang Group activated a ballpark campaign in 2008 to spotlight the tremendous dedication of Professional Baseball Scouts, tireless and devoted individuals who spend a significant amount of their lives on the road, and create recognition for their invaluable contributions to the game of baseball.
The criteria for induction includes a minimum of 20 years of pro scouting experience, with selection based on a combination of quantifiable success in the field, contributions made to the game in other areas of the sport whether professional or amateur, and importantly, their involvement and dedication to the local community that is honoring them through induction.
The PBSHOF is the culmination of recent broad scale efforts to create a forum designed to honor one of the game’s most valuable professions. The combined reach and recognition achieved through the partnership of industry leader Topps and the Goldklang Group has succeeded in shining a long overdue spotlight on scouts across the landscape of professional baseball.
ABOUT THE GOLDKLANG GROUP
The Goldklang Group is a sports entertainment consulting and management firm. The Group provides operational consulting and management services in all areas relating to sports franchise and event acquisition, promotion and operation.
The principals in the Group are Marvin Goldklang and Mike Veeck. Goldklang is a noted owner and operator of several highly successful minor league baseball franchises, Chairman of M.S. Goldklang and Company, a New Jersey-based merchant banking firm, and a limited partner in the Yankees. Veeck is a noted public speaker and author, as well as an owner and operator of minor league baseball clubs that continually are recognized nationally for their promotional innovation and financial success. (www.goldklanggroup.com
ABOUT THE TOPPS COMPANY, INC.
Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and related cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps entertainment products include Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company's confectionery brands include “Bazooka” bubble gum, Ring Pop,” “Push Pop,” Baby Bottle Pop” and “Juicy Drop Pop” lollipops. For additional information, visit http://www.topps.com/.
Contact: Tyler Tumminia (Goldklang Group) 845-705-4122
Clay Luraschi (Topps) 212 376-0496 Marty Appel Public Relations 212 245-1772