Ever wonder how George Herman Ruth Jr. became known as Babe Ruth? It was because of Jack Dunn, widely known as one of the best judges of talent in baseball during the early 1900s.
Dunn, then the owner/manager of the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, recognized Ruth's talent when he was 19 and signed him to a contract, later selling him to the Boston Red Sox.
When other players saw the strapping young Ruth, they referred to him as "Jack's newest babe."
Trivia time: Ruth batted .393 for the New York Yankees in 1923 but didn't win the American League batting title. Who did?
Whatever it takes: Baseball scouts are often a forgotten group, but not Saturday night, when the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation holds its second gala dinner in the Beverly Hilton.
Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Curt Schilling, Duke Snider and Tom Lasorda will be among the baseball dignitaries scheduled to attend, along with celebrities from the entertainment world.
The foundation was created by Chicago White Sox colleagues Dennis Gilbert -- a former player agent -- Dave Yoakum and Roland Hemond, a former director of scouting for the Angels who later became general manager of the White Sox (1970 to '85) and Baltimore Orioles (1988 to '95).
Hemond says scouts will do almost anything to land a player.
"When I was with the Angels [in the 1960s], we had a scout, Nick Kamzic, who once spread the word that a pitching prospect named Marty Pattin had hurt his arm. Only thing was, Pattin had hurt his left arm and he was a right-hander."
More scout lore: Years ago, a scout working in Illinois wired his general manager that a prospect named Washington looked tremendous. The general manager wired back, saying, "While you're there, go down the road and sign Lincoln." ...
Tony Lucadello, a legendary scout who signed Mike Schmidt, among others, once worked out a pitcher on his family's farm in a driving rain. The pitcher threw from one barn to a catcher in another barn. "He threw so hard the ball didn't get wet between barns," Lucadello reported. ...
Another scout working in the boondocks called his boss to tell him he had just witnessed the most amazing pitching performance he'd ever seen.
"This kid was unbelievable," the scout said. "He struck out everybody, all 27 batters. In fact, only one guy even managed to get a foul ball." His boss replied, "Pitching we got. We need hitters. Send us the guy who fouled it off."
For what it's worth: None of the three Associated Press voters who had Auburn No. 1 in football are from Alabama.
The three are Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Steve Kiggins of the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune and Ryan White of the Oregonian.
Trivia answer: Harry Heilmann, who hit .403 for Detroit.
And finally: Reader Kenny Wolin asks, "So do you think the Brooklyn Dodgers of Los Angeles will stand a chance against the New York Giants of San Francisco this season?"
Larry Stewart can be reached at email@example.com.