In his high school playing days, Richard “Dick” Scott played three sports for the Ellsworth Eagles and played them all very well.
For the last 3½ decades, Scott has focused exclusively on one.
The former Ellsworth High School baseball, soccer, and basketball star lives, eats and breathes baseball as the director of player development for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“It’s pretty much an all-day job this time of the year,” said Scott, 47. “I start each day reading game and injury reports, then talk to scouts and managers, get to the parks, watch games, and sometimes do it all over again later on.
“It’s like [the movie] ‘Groundhog Day’ every day.”
The Ellsworth native hasn’t been in Maine much since he was a minor league player in the 1980s, but he’s looking forward to a rare weekend off as he returns to Maine to be part of the 2009 induction class of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
Tickets for Sunday’s dinner and ceremonies at Bangor Motor Inn are sold out.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the other inductees and a lot of family and friends,” said Scott, who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Scott joins his father, John “Jack” Scott in the Hall. Jack Scott was inducted in 2003.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but I think I was probably more excited when my dad was selected,” Scott said. “As far as myself, it’s a nice honor, but I don’t get too caught up in it, not to downplay it at all.
“It’s always a great honor to be part of something like that.”
Scott earned another very distinct honor in 1989 in the form of a World Series ring during his one and only Major League Baseball season, as a member of the world champion Oakland Athletics, eight years after the New York Yankees drafted him in the 17th round.
After ending his pro playing career a year later, he took a minor league managerial position with Oakland’s Arizona Rookie League team.
“I was with Oakland through 1996. Then I went to Arizona and got into major league scouting,” Scott recalled. “I left Arizona in 2001 after they won the World Series and [Toronto senior vice president and general manager] J.P. Ricciardi called.”
Scott has been with the Blue Jays eight years and is now responsible for overseeing and running the franchise’s entire minor league organization.
“I interact with lots of different people at all levels of the organization and baseball. That gives you perspective,” he said.
“The toughest part of the job is all the things on the periphery. The talent evaluation and scouting is enjoyable — the X’s and O’s and that. The rest of the stuff, the budgets, the economic and business side of it, can be tough,” he added. “The most enjoyable part of the job is working with the players, being around and involved either in Toronto with the major leaguers and talking to [Blue Jays manager] Cito Gaston or brand-new guys in the farm leagues and seeing them develop.”
These next few weeks are the busiest time of the year for Scott as he prepares for, participates in, and evaluates the players obtained from the June 9 major league amateur draft.
“We’re managing 130 players right now, and after the draft we’ll have 170 and we’ll have to find the best spots for the new guys,” Scott said.
At least for a day or two this week, Scott will be able to temporarily turn his thoughts from the draft and back to the sports background and experiences that led him to this position.
“My memories are about playing all sports. That’s what I liked to do,” he said. “Me and my brothers were at the gym all the time, going to all the basketball and baseball practices with our dad.”
“I remember playing at the tournament in Bangor. I can remember going to the games when my dad was coaching and the place seemed so enormous,” he added. “You know what I think I remember the most is the players and all the things we did together, both on and off the fields and courts.”
Scott’s fellow inductees are longtime Bangor broadcaster George Hale, former UMaine baseball coach and major league scout Jack Butterfield (posthumous), former Bangor High baseball coach Bob Kelley, UMaine and Lawrence High School star basketball player Cindy Blodgett, ex-Brewer and John Bapst football and baseball coach Ken Perrone, former Georges Valley of Thomaston boys soccer coach Charles “Sam” Pendleton, Bangor High and University of Massachusetts football star and Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Pete McCarty, and former Stearns High and University of Maryland basketball standout Jon MacDonald.