Longtime Mariners Scout Bill Kearns Honored as Scout of the Year
Bill Kearns has seen it all in Mariners history, literally. Kearns, who is 92, has been with the Mariners organization since it joined the American League in 1977. In fact, he signed his contract to join the Mariners before they were even the Mariners (see his original contract below).
Tonight at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida, Kearns was honored as one of the Scouts of the Year. Kearns joins Bill Bryk of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Doug Mapson of the San Francisco Giants, and Howard McCullough with the Arizona Diamondbacks as the 2013 Baseball Scouts of the Year winners. The award, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, was created to acknowledge baseball scouts that have devoted at least a quarter of a century to the profession, recognizing these ambassadors for their achievements to our National Pastime. All recipients’ are also honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in the Diamond Mines exhibit.
Kearns also scouted for White Sox and KC Royals. In his youth, this Master Scout was a standout SS for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was signed by the legendary Branch Rickey. After service during WWII, Bill continued an academic / athletic career that got him noticed for his instructional abilities, enabling him to serve as a player/ manger in the minors.
The following is a true gem, Bill’s original offer letter and contract from 1976, surely something that will make its way to Cooperstown.
You can listen to Bill tell stories about his scouting career in the following interview today on MLB Network Radio.