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


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.

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.

Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”

“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.

“It’s a daily process.”

Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.

“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.

Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.

“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”

“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

The White Sox announced on Friday they have named former MLB infielder Chris Getz as Director of Player Development.

Getz replaces Nick Capra, who after five seasons in his position was named the White Sox third base coach on Oct. 14.

The 33-year-old Getz has spent the last two years with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball operations assistant/player development in which he assisted in minor-league operations and player personnel decisions.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

“I'm excited about the opportunity to help teach and develop young talent in the organization where my professional career began,” Getz said in a press release. “I was drafted twice, worked through the minor leagues, and reached the major leagues with the White Sox. Through this journey, I was able to gain an understanding of the individuals within this organization, who I respect greatly.  The director of player development is an important role, and the health of the minor-league system is vital for major-league success.  I look forward to putting my all into making the White Sox a strong and winning organization.”
White Sox Senior VP/general manager Rick Hahn added: “We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office. He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

Getz, originally a fourth-round selection by the White Sox in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Michigan, played in seven MLB seasons with the White Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays (2014).

Getz had a career slash line of .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases.