If you're too young to really remember Mike Schmidt's 500th home run, chances are you aren't familiar with Tony Lucadello. ESPN says Tony Lucadello may have been the greatest baseball scout ever. His story is a look back at the baseball of old, a heart warming tale with a sad ending.
It started when his most famous find and favorite player, Mike
Schmidt, hit his 500th homer in April 1987. To celebrate the occasion
Schmidt and the Phillies invited Lucadello to Philadelphia. Though he
had worked for the Phillies for a couple of decades and for the Cubs
for a couple of decades before that, the scout had attended, by his
reckoning, less than a dozen major-league games. He didn't do that type
of scouting. He knew every high school diamond in Ohio and Michigan and
Pennsylvania. He didn't know which gate to go through at the home
ballpark of the team that signed his checks.
After Schmidt shook hands with Lucadello and posed for a photograph
with him beside the Philadelphia dugout, reporters asked Schmidt,
"Who's the little guy in the hat?" When Schmidt told them this was the
scout who signed him, the reporters pounced on what they thought was a
good story. In about 10 minutes they realized this was a great story.
>>Wall of Dreams [ESPN]