Members of Sox front office doing their part for scouts in need

709296.png

Members of Sox front office doing their part for scouts in need

Once just a set of notes scribbled on a cocktail napkin, 10 years later the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation has raised 4 million.

The organization -- founded by White Sox front office members Dennis Gilbert and Dave Yoakum, ex-Sox general manager Roland Hemond and the New York Mets Harry Minor -- has a simple goal: aide scouts in need.

The foundations mission statement is to take care of veteran scouts who have fallen on hard time because of job loss, illness, retirement or other setbacks.

Gilbert -- a former minor league player and sports agent who is a special assistant to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf -- is set to host the organizations 10th annual dinner on Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

He said his reason for the countless hours spent organizing the dinner is simple: All I wanted to do was to avoid some of the tragic things that happen, Gilbert said. I was around a (scout) who got changed from full-time to part-time and lost benefits because he couldnt afford to pay Cobra. (Family members) were having a hard time just putting him in the ground. Theres stories all over. There were. There arent any more.

Yoakum, who just completed his 21st season as a Sox special assistant to the GM, remembers he was fired up for the initial discussion between himself, Hemond and White Sox GM Rick Hahn at the GM meetings in Tucson, Ariz. in 2002. With a paradigm shift in the front offices of many teams, older GMs were being fired in favor of younger regimes, which in many cases left longtime scouts out of work.

Gilbert missed the first meeting to attend the funeral of a scout but sat down with Hemond, Yoakum and Minor a month later at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn and devised a plan with Gilbert writing notes on a napkin.

Lets take care of the insurance for these guys and go from there, Yoakum said. Three weeks later Dennis called and said Were a charitable organization. Dennis has been just fantastic. I would hesitate to think where wed be without Dennis; he took a simplistic approach and turned it into something phenomenal.

Now scouts in need of financial assistance can apply to the organization for anything and everything.

Weve helped people from everything from funeral expenses to unpaid hospital bills to hospice to taking care of widows, Gilbert said. Heres a guy working for you for 30 years and they live month to month.

While scouts pay 85 to attend the dinner, Gilbert said the minimum seat for anyone else is 300 and some tables sell for as high as 50,000. This years event features Academy Award winning actor Harrison Ford and will honor former players Jim Palmer, Ferguson Jenkins and Don Mattingly. Dodgers announcer Vin Scully will receive an executive leadership award.

Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner will receive a humanitarian award while the Hairston family -- Jerry Sr., Jerry Jr. and Scott -- will receive the Bob Boone Family award for contributions to the sport. Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan and former player, scout and MLB executive Larry Doby will receive lifetime achievement awards for scouting.

Scouts Mike Arbuckle, Wayne Britton, Doug Gassaway, Larry Hines and Gary Johnson, who recently passed away, will also be honored as legends of scouting.

And then there are the silent and live auctions.

I remember our very first dinner, Yoakum said. The first item (auctioned) for 30,000. I got chills. I couldnt believe this had actually come to fruition. Its been quite a journey.

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

Tim Raines became the 39th former member of the White Sox to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement congratulating Raines on his election.

“On behalf of the entire White Sox organization and our fans, I want to sincerely congratulate Tim on today’s election to the Hall of the Fame, the highest and greatest honor bestowed upon a baseball player,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago White Sox. “He played a crucial role on the 1993 division championship team, was a key member of the 2005 World Series-winning coaching staff and provided Sox fans with great memories that will not be forgotten.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Frank Thomas, who played with Raines from 1991-95, had high praise for his former teammate.

“Rock was one of my favorite teammates ever,” said Hall-of-Famer and White Sox legend Frank Thomas. “He made the game fun night-to-night and was a great leader in the clubhouse. His humor and hustle always brought the team closer. I’m so glad this has finally happened for one of my favorite people ever.”

Thomas also went on Twitter to express his excitement for Raines heading to Cooperstown.

Tim Raines shares thank you message after being elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Tim Raines shares thank you message after being elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Tim Raines is headed to Cooperstown.

On Wednesday, the former White Sox outfielder was one of three elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Raines released a statement on Twitter minutes after the announcement:

Raines was so excited, he already switched his Twitter bio.