Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joe Rigoli Featured in St. Louis Globe-Democrat

Minor League Notebook: Scout receives Hall of Fame honor

Professional scout Joe Rigoli was awarded his profession’s highest honor

Joe Rigoli is undoubtedly the least well-known St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer representing an equally-anonymous profession - scouting.

Despite being universally accepted as an absolutely essential component of every major league organization, scouts have consistently lacked external recognition. One minor league group set out to change that, and in the process, Rigoli, a St. Louis Cardinals scouting legend, officially joined the best in his field.

The Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame inducted Rigoli into their ranks in June. The ceremony, which also recognized Joe McIlvaine, the former general manager of the San Diego Padres and New York Mets, was held at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

The Scouts Hall of Fame was conceived three years ago by The Goldklang Group, operators of four minor league franchises. The Group addressed an unmet need, as The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. recognizes players, coaches, executives, umpires, writers and broadcasters, but not scouts.

Cardinals Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow is a firm believer of the benefits of scouting to his employer and to the game as a whole.

“Scouting is truly the lifeblood of any organization,” Luhnow explained. “It is both an art and a science and it takes years of experience and dedication for someone to become a great scout. We ask our scouts to use their best judgment to not only analyze and interpret what they see in a player, but to predict the future. This is not easy, but if done correctly can be very valuable to any baseball club.”