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Fundraiser on Saturday will help out-of-work baseball scouts

Baseball's emphasis on statistical analysis has led to the loss of jobs among scouts. The gala in Century City will feature Vin Scully, Don Mattingly, Tom Lasorda and other baseball greats.

January 10, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Scouts with radar guns in hand watch a game between Harvard-Westlake and Alemany last spring.
Scouts with radar guns in hand watch a game between Harvard-Westlake and… (Christina House / For The…)

The annual "In the Spirit of the Game" gala, which raises money for baseball scouts who have retired or lost their jobs and need assistance, will be held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

Increased focus on statistical analysis has resulted in the elimination of some scouting positions across baseball in recent years.

"It absolutely cost scouts jobs," said Dennis Gilbert, chairman of the Professional Scouts Foundation, which is hosting the event.

However, that trend could be reversed. Major League Baseball has imposed limits on how much teams can spend in the draft and on international players. Those restrictions have reduced the advantages enjoyed by wealthier clubs.

"The only advantage you'll be able to get is in the quality of your people, the quality of your scouts," said Dodgers President Stan Kasten, whose team added nine scouts to its baseball operations department in recent months.

Of scouts, Kasten said, "They aren't paid nearly what other front-office people are paid, but the work they do is invaluable, and the work that this foundation does in helping those scouts who have had difficulty is very important."

Honorees and presenters at the gala will include Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully; Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly; Hall of Fame members Jim Palmer, Ferguson Jenkins, Dave Winfield and Tom Lasorda; baseball Commissioner Bud Selig; and actor Harrison Ford.

Tickets and information: (818) 224-3906.

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