How cool is it to sit among MLB Professional Baseball Scouts? It is fun to listen in, watch them take notes, and then peek over their shoulder at the speeds on the radar guns they bring along to record pitching speeds. I have access to seats right behind home plate where the scouts congregate, and we usually have four to ten scouts at time at Oregon games. Sometimes for our players, and often for the opposing pitchers as well since we get so many great ones coming to PK Park from around the Pac-12. When Tyler Anderson was pitching for us in recent years, you would see as many as NINE Radar Guns pointed at him as the pitch started!
When we played South Dakota State in the Regionals, we had a large number of scouts in attendance, and especially at the end of the game as they wanted to record the speeds of our ‘Closer,’ Jimmy Sherfy. Above is picture…a poor one, but a picture that shows a NINETY FIVE mph (95) fastball by Jimmy as he was closing out the Jackrabbits! He had an earlier pitch that went 97 mph, which inspired me to get my iPhone out. The fellow taking notes is from the Chicago Cubs organization, and he was not the only one.
I have to give a special shout-out to Ken Hadden, who pitched for Oregon in the mid-1960s and comes up from his home in Silicon Valley to watch our beloved Ducks on a regular basis. When Oregon started up baseball again he was one of the first season ticket buyers “to support the program.” When he is not up here for games in the winter, he donates the tickets to FishDuck.com for use by writers, editors, and usually Mr. FishDuck himself. I am very grateful for the tickets, the location and learning baseball from real professionals.