Saints and TOPPS to Induct Two More into Scouts Hall of Fame
ST. PAUL, MN (July 30. 2009) - The hard work of a baseball scout is often overlooked. Few may realize that the gentlemen critiquing the swing of a prospect in Tampa, aiming a radar gun at a fastball in Cape Cod or noting the fine footwork of a youngster at a high school game in a tiny town are the backbone of any Major League organization. On August 6, the St. Paul Saints will induct Tom Greenwade of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies scout Marti Wolever into the TOPPS Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.
Greenwade, who passed away in 1986, is best remembered for signing Mickey Mantle and later Bobby Murcer. He joined the Yankees organization in 1949 and was instrumental in building the clubs dynasty through the 1960s. He 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.
Born on August 21, 1904, Greenwade, was a lifelong resident of Willard, Missouri. After a career as a minor league pitcher and manager, he turned to scouting and became the most successful scout in the history of baseball. He got his start scouting with the St. Louis Browns in 1941. He found time to serve as a civic leader, farmer and banker.
Wolever was an Area Scouting Supervisor with the Detroit Tigers in 1984 for five years, then moved to the New York Yankees for two years before taking his show to the Chicago White Sox as a Midwest cross-checker for the next two years. In 1993, Wolever became the national cross-checker for the Philadelphia Phillies and in 2001 he assumed the position as the Director of Scouting with the Phillies.
During his 26 years plus, Wolever has assisted in scouting, drafting and signing such players as Ryan Howard, the 2006 National League MVP, Cole Hamels, the 2009 World Series MVP, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and several others.
Wolever got his start in professional baseball when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 11th round of the 1974 Amateur Draft. He played minor league baseball until 1978 when he returned to college to finish his degree.
The Saints ownership, 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.
During the inaugural induction year in 2008 the Saints enshrined Phil Rizzo (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Hep Cronin (Atlanta). Several teams under the same ownership as the Saints, The Goldklang Group, are inducting scouts into their Hall of Fame's this season. Honored at Hudson Valley were Joe McIlvane (Minnesota) and Joe Rigoli (St. Louis). Honored at Brockton were Rene Mons (Milwaukee) and Roland Johnson (New York Mets). Honored at Ft. Myers were 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).
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/.
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