Some sad news to pass along: baseball lifer Marty Scott, whose impact on the game of baseball ranged from MLB to the minors and independent baseball, has passed away following a long illness at his home in West Palm Beach. He was 68.
Scott spent 18 years in the Texas Rangers organization as a player, manager, and executive from 1977-94. He was a 25th round selection by Texas in the June 1977 MLB draft out of Dallas Baptist University and played five seasons as an infielder in the Rangers’ farm system. Scott managed Texas’ minor league clubs from 1982-84 before being appointed as the club’s Director of Player Development in September 1984, when Tom Grieve was promoted from that position to General Manager.
During Scott’s ten-year tenure overseeing the minor leagues, the Rangers developed such players as club Hall of Famers Juan Gonzalez, Rusty Greer, Ivan Rodriguez, Kenny Rogers, and Ruben Sierra.
He then emerged as the second manager in St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) franchise history, from 1995-2000, and guided the team to two championships in 1995 and ’96. During his tenure he accumulated 264 victories, the most in franchise history at the time and trailed only George Tsamis in franchise wins. Scott guided the Saints to the playoffs in five of his six seasons and reached the finals in three of those six seasons.
“Marty’s work is the early years included watching my daughter, Rebecca,” said Saints Co-Owner and President Mike Veeck via press release. “In other words, he gave real substance to family entertainment. His long experience throughout his career was a great stabilizer. He provided a legitimacy that was so important in the early days, not only for the Saints, but for all of Independent Baseball. The highest accolade is ‘he gets it.’ He did. He was family and he will be missed by not just me, but the entire Saints family and the game of baseball.”
Scott was instrumental in getting some big name players to come to the Saints, including Darryl Strawberry, J.D. Drew and Jack Morris.
“Marty was a central factor in the growth of the Saints as a professional baseball team, helping to bring talent like J.D. Drew, Darryl Strawberry, and Jack Morris to the organization,” said Saints Chairman Marv Goldklang via press release. “Apart from a first-rate baseball man, he was a first-class individual. The entire Saints family, as well as the game itself, will miss him.”
Here’s a notable memory from Dave Wright, Saints PR head at the time, from the archives:
There was a memorable night in St. Paul when Saints’ manager Marty Scott and Fargo manager Doug Simunic saw their evenings end early. Scott and Simunic were bemoaning their fates under the stands at Midway Stadium when they got the idea to come out in sumo suits between innings. When the umpires spotted them, they went ballistic in waving them off the field. The next morning, league president Miles Wolff called and asked if this event really happened the way the umps said it did. When informed it was so (and there was a picture in the local paper and TV tape to prove it), Wolff sighed and fined both managers $500.
He finished his career in baseball in player development and scouting for the Miami Marlins from 2011-17. He was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame at CHS Field in 2019.
Here’s a look at Scott’s final years, spent on a waiting list for a kidney transplant.