ABERDEEN, Md.- More than one 100 people gathered Saturday evening at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md., for the annual Middle Atlantic Scouts Association banquet to honor this year’s Hall of Fame inductees and award recipients.
The Middle Atlantic Scouts Association (MASA) is a professional baseball group comprised of both former and current major league scouts and front office personnel. MASA, which began in 1970 with 20 inaugural members, currently has 165 members with scouting roots in the Mid-Atlantic region. The lion’s share of the members are area scouts but the group also includes three current scouting directors and one general manager. The awards recipients are determined through voting by the association’s members.
Executive of the year: Dan Duquette, Executive V.P., Baltimore Orioles
In his first year running Baltimore (2012), Duquette’s Orioles improved by 24 wins, made the playoffs for the first time since 1997 and reached the A.L. Divisional Series after beating Texas in the Wild Card game. With 85 wins in 2013, the Orioles had consecutive winnings seasons for the first time in over 15 years.
“This is a tremendous honor because this is a great association, one of the best in baseball, because it honors the area scouts and all their hard work and dedication,” Duquette said.
Crosschecker of the year: Alex Smith, northeast supervisor, Seattle Mariners
Smith has scouted for 23 years across three organizations. Smith was an area scout with the Atlanta Braves from 1991-1994, Seattle Mariners from 1995-2001 and Washington Nationals from 2002-2010 before becoming the Mariners’ crosschecker the following year. He has signed more than 50 players, including All-Star and Gold Glove-winning third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Smith signed a major leaguer player in five consecutive drafts, a rare accomplishment. He also signed undrafted free agent Hawatha Terrell Wade, a South Carolina native who pitched in the major leagues for four seasons.
Scout of the Year: Brad Fidler, Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau
Fidler is beginning his ninth year scouting for the MLSB, laying the groundwork and providing valued evaluations for teams. He is responsible for Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Fidler was a scout school instructor in 2008-2009.
Hall of Fame: Dave Littlefield, special assistant, Chicago Cubs
Jeff Taylor, special assistant, Cincinnati Reds
John Hagemann, area scout, Philadelphia Phillies
After serving as a college coach following his playing career, Littlefield had a two-year stint as an area scout for the Tigers from 1988-1989 before taking over crosschecker responsibilities. Littlefield then served as the Montreal Expos director of player development before assuming the role of assistant general manager with the Marlins from 1998-2001, when he was named general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He served in that capacity until 2007 and has held his current title with the Cubs since 2008.
Taylor played football and baseball at the University of Delaware before his four-year pro career was cut short due to injury. He served as an area scout and pitching coach for the Yankees beginning in 1987, signing seven major leaguers in seven years. Taylor, who became a national crosschecker with the Rangers in 1996, has been a special assistant with the Reds since 2006.
Hagemann began his career as an area scout for the Montreal Expos in 1969 and spent time with the MLSB and Baltimore Orioles throughout the next two decades. He then worked for the Atlanta Braves from 1985-2000, where he signed Jason Marquis. Bobby Cox credited him with having a major role in the Braves’ acquisition of John Smoltz from the Detroit Tigers. Hagemann has been with the Phillies since 2001 and has signed more than 25 players in his career.
Career Recognition: Wayne Britton, scouting consultant, Baltimore Orioles
Britton, who was an area scout for the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox for the first 10 years of his career, assumed national crosschecker responsibilities for the Red Sox in 1986 before serving as Boston’s scouting director from 1993-2001. During this time, the Red Sox drafted Trot Nixon, Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Youkilis, among others. During Britton served and national and Latin America crosschecker for the New York Yankees from 2002-2007. He has been a scouting consultant with the Orioles since 2011. Britton has had a hand in signing 50 major leaguers.
Outstanding achievement in pro baseball: Brett Cecil, lefthanded pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays
Cecil, a 2007 supplemental first-round pick out of Maryland, transitioned to the bullpen and made the A.L. All-Star team in 2013, finishing with a 2.82 ERA. Cecil struck out 10.4 per nine with a 3-1 strikeout-walk ratio. He set the Blue Jays franchise record for consecutive hitters faced without allowing a hit (43), which shattered David Cone’s record of 36.
Nick Adenhart Amateur player of the year: Kyle Crockett, lefthanded pitcher, University of Virginia
Crockett, a two-time Virginia high school player of the year, had a strong three-year career at Virginia, finishing second in Cavalier history with a 1.98 career ERA. In 150 innings, Crockett struck out 160 (9.6 per nine) with a 5.7 strikeout-walk ratio. Crockett, a fourth-round pick of the Indians, allowed one earned run (0.38 ERA) in 23 professional innings and struck out 32 (12.3 per nine) against five walks.
Previous award winners include Mike Trout (2009), Jesse Biddle (2010), Cameron Gallagher (2011) and Eddie Butler (2012).
College coach of the year: Mike Gottlieb, head coach, Towson University
In March, it appeared as though Towson was dropping baseball for budgetary reasons. But the program received $300,000 from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Gottlieb led the Tigers to their first Colonial Athletic Association championship after over a decade in the conference. With 654 career victories, Gottlieb has the most wins in school history.
High school coach of the year: Terry Terrill, head coach, Riverdale Baptist
Terrill has accumulated a 984-285 record (.775 winning percentage) over 37 years as the head coach for Riverdale Baptist. His teams have won 20 or more games every season since 1986 and 30 or more games 14 times. Riverdale has produced over 20 professional players, including 2013 fourth-round outfielder Matthew McPhearson.
Part time scout of the year: Fred Albert, associate scout, Pittsburgh Pirates
Albert has served as a Pirates’ associate scout since 1998. He also started the Allegheny Pirates, one of the premier fall ball teams, with the help of the Pirates organization. Since 1997, the program has produced over 240 Division I scholarships players, 64 draftees and four major leaguers, including Neil Walker.
Contribution to amateur baseball: Henry Morgan, owner, Peninsula Pilots
Morgan has owned the Peninsula Pilots since 2001, the franchise’s second season in the Coastal Plain League, a wooden-bat summer college baseball league. More than 170 Pilots have been drafted or signed professionally during that time.
The event began on a high note as ESPN and Baseball Tonight’s Keith Law gave as strong speech as the keynote speaker.
Tom Burns, an area scout with the Padres, serves as President of MASA. Burns, one of the most respected amateur scouts, was with the Angels from 1995-2003 and the Blue Jays for the last decade. He was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame in Charleston, S.C., in 2009.