The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Joe Rigoli, Professional Scouts Hall of Famer

I really blew it. Recently, I came across the announcement of the 2010 inductees to the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame. In doing so, I realized that I entirely missed the 2009 class of a dozen deserving men, which included St. Louis Cardinals professional scout Joe Rigoli.

Joe RigoliBetter late than never, I decided to salute Rigoli now, which I did first and foremost in my weekly column at the Globe-Democrat. Due to space limitations and the need to be net, I didn’t include everything, hence, this post. So read that article first and then come back here for the rest of the story.

The base criterion for induction in the PBSHOF is a minimum of 20 years of professional scouting experience. Selection is based on a combination of quantifiable success in the field, contributions to the game in other areas, professional or amateur, and involvement and dedication to the local community.

The PBSHOF is the brainchild of The Goldklang Group, operators of four minor league franchises located in Charleston, SC, Ft. Myers, FL, Hudson Valley, NY and St. Paul, MN. Plaques of the inductees are proudly displayed at the appropriate park, with annual ceremonies at each to honor the new inductees nearest that area of the country.

I highly commend The Goldklang Group’s now-three year effort to draw attention to scouts’ invaluable contributions at the very foundation of the game of professional baseball, often overlooked by others. Vice President Tyler Tumminia spearheads the efforts.

The 2010 honorees will be as follows: At Charleston, Jax Robertson (Pittsburgh Pirates); at Fort Myers, Terry Ryan (Minnesota) and Dave Yoakum (Chicago White Sox); at Hudson Valley: Bob Miske (New York Yankees) and at St. Paul: Ken Stauffer (Tampa Bay).

2009’s inductees were Tom Greenwade (New York Yankees), Marti Wolever (Philadelphia), Joe McIlvaine (Minnesota), Rigoli, Rene Mons (Milwaukee), Roland Johnson (New York Mets), Al Goldis (long time scout), John Barr (San Francisco), Bob Fontaine (Toronto), Gary Hughes (Chicago Cubs), Tom Burns (Toronto) and Howard McCullough (Arizona).

The inaugural class of 12, inducted in 2008, are John Tumminia (Chicago White Sox), Tom Giordano (Texas Rangers), Tom Kotchman (Los Angeles Angels), Rudy Santin (San Francisco Giants), Lennie Merullo (MLSB), Buzz Bowers (Boston Red Sox), Lon Joyce (LA Dodgers), Donny Rowland (New York Yankees), Brad Sloan (Los Angeles Angels), Art Stewart (Kansas City Royals), Phil Rizzo (LA Dodgers) and Hep Cronin (Atlanta Braves).

Congratulations to all these scouts, especially Joe Rigoli. Last summer, I ran into him at Citi Field in New York. Though we chatted briefly, I didn’t know to congratulate him. Sorry, Joe, and belated best wishes on becoming a Hall of Famer!

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