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Jay Feldman
February 05, 1990
As usual, there wasn't much suspense before the announcement last month of the results of this year's Baseball Hall of Fame balloting. It would have been surprising only if Jim Palmer and Joe Morgan hadn't been elected. One thing never in doubt, however, was that Charlie Barrett, Paul Krichell and Hugh Alexander would not be among the men voted in. As baseball scouts, Barrett, Krichell and Alexander are not eligible for the Hall. To me, that is like saying infantrymen shouldn't qualify for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Scouts are the foot soldiers of baseball, on the front lines in the least glamorous positions, yet their work is fundamental to the game.
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February 05, 1990

Make Scouts Eligible For Cooperstown

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Part of the problem is that scouts are an almost invisible part of the game. "Their contributions are not really noticed and therefore get overlooked, but they absolutely are deserving of inclusion," says the New York Mets' vice-president, Joe McIlvaine. "It may be a clich´┐Ż, but nothing is truer in baseball: Scouts are the fiber of the game."

At least one member of the board of directors agrees. "I personally think they should be eligible," says former American League president Lee MacPhail. "I think it would be quite simple for the board of directors to change the wording of that statute."

It's time the Hall gave scouts their due. Until then, how about a decent exhibit honoring the men who beat the bushes to find the talent? That's the least they deserve from baseball's national shrine.

Free-lance writer Jay Feldman is a frequent contributor to " Sports Illustrated."

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