It came out of nowhere and with no warning.
Lima’s Jim Martz received an email Thursday.
And, with that, “The Old Scout” is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Well, at least, a part of his work will soon be on display there.
Martz, a former longtime Major League Baseball scout, will have a few of his scouting reports on display as part of the first exhibit at the Hall of Fame to honor the traveling roots of baseball, the scouts.
The exhibit to honor the scouts will be unveiled on a day to be named in May at Cooperstown.
“I was shocked,” Martz said on Friday. “To think your name is going to be in Cooperstown is pretty special.”
The whole process of recognizing the scouts at the Hall started nearly a decade ago by Roland Hemond, who was the scouting director of the Angels from 1961-1970. He then served as general manager of the White Sox (1970-1985) and the Orioles (1988-1995).
Hemond felt the scouts had been neglected by the Hall.
“It was eight or 10 years ago that Roland Hemond asked me for some scouting reports,” Martz said. “I sent him about 200 reports of players who went on to play in the major leagues. I think he thought I was going to send him eight or 10. He was blown away.”
Among those reports filed by Martz included ones on Orel Hershiser (Bowling Green State), John Smoltz (Lansing, Mich. HS), Don Gullett (Lynn, Ky. HS), Barry Larkin (Cincinnati Moeller HS), Derek Jeter (Kalamazoo, Mich. Central HS), Dave Winfield (Minnesota), Dave Parker (Cincinnati Courter Tech HS), Paul O’Neill (Columbus Brookhaven HS) Frank Tanana (Detroit Catholic Central HS), Don Mattingly (Evansville, Ind. Memorial HS), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State), Scott Rolen (Jasper, Ind. HS), Ken Griffey Jr. (Cincinnati Moeller HS) and Mike Schmidt (Ohio U.).
From time to time, Martz wondered what ever happened to the copies of the scouting reports he sent to Hemond.
This week he found out.
The email came from Frank Markos, who was working with the exhibit at the Hall of Fame.
Markos told Martz that a few of his reports would be used in the scout’s exhibit, which is set to open in May. He went on to request biographical information on Martz.
At this point, Martz has no idea which reports will be used, but it seems his name will be right there next to the scouting reports.
“I’m kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing,” the Gomer High School grad Martz said. “Finally, scouts will get some recognition (by the Hall).”
Martz spent 31 years as a scout, including 20 for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau from 1975 to 1994.
He started with the Orioles (1970-1973), where he won a World Championship ring in 1970. He spent one year with the Angels in 1974.
After 20 years with the Scouting Bureau, he worked for the Atlanta Braves from 1995 to 2001. In the Braves’ World Championship year of 1995, his scouting reports on the Cleveland Indians were used during the World Series.
After the World Series, he remembered former Braves right-hander Greg Maddux came up to him at a get-together.
“He told me good job on the reports,” Martz said.
Up until this week, that was pretty good recognition.
But Maddux’s words will pale compare to Cooperstown. Martz said he plans to be at the Hall for the May unveiling.
“It boggles my mind,” he said. “I’m kind of in shock that copies of my reports will be on display at Cooperstown.”