Mariners' Mattox Passes Away
Mariners scout Frank Mattox, who spent his professional career in baseball and spent six years as the Mariners' scouting director, died Sunday night at his home in Peoria Ariz. He was 49.
Mattox collapsed suddenly while sitting down to watch the Academy Awards, according to MLB.com. He's survived by his parents, his wife and three children.
Mattox played at California in the early 1980s for coach Bob Milano. He was a second baseman on an infield that included Brian Guinn (whose son B.J. is a Padres minor leaguer) and big leaguer Lance Blankenship, then played seven seasons in the Brewers farm system, finishing his career in 1990 playing for Triple-A Denver.
Mattox went on to work for Denver and then became a scout for the expansion Colorado Rockies before joining the Mariners organization in 1995 as a West Coast Crosschecker. Mattox became scouting director in September 1997, running six drafts for the organization while working for vice president of scouting and player development Roger Jongewaard, who recently retired from the Marlins' pro scouting department.
"I scouted him and I hired him," Jongewaard said Monday. "Frank's just a good guy and a good scout who had a good idea about players. I'm just in shock right now."
Lefthander Matt Thornton, now with the White Sox, was the first of Mattox's draft picks, in '98, and Seattle took Adam Jones with their top pick in the last draft he ran, in 2003. In between, he oversaw drafts that produced big leaguers such as Willie Bloomquist, J.J. Putz, Bryan LaHair and Eric O'Flaherty.
Mattox also was featured in a Microsoft commercial
in 1997, showing him working on a laptop computer with Microsoft software. "The best thing about the commercial," Mattox told BA's Alan Schwarz at the time, "is the recognition it gives to scouts and the profession itself. Some of us played, some didn't, but we're all trying to be ambassadors of the game."
Mattox served as farm director from 2004-2007 before moving into the pro scouting department.
"It is difficult to put into words the depth of the Mariners' sadness upon hearing the news last night," Mariners president Chuck Armstrong told MLB.com. "On behalf of the Mariners organization and ownership, we wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Frank's family—his wonderful wife, Sylvia, and three beautiful children, Myles, Blake and Marisol.
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Mariners organization are with the Mattox family as they deal with this tragedy."