June 18, 2021

Major League Baseball: Library of Congress Posts Digitized Copies of 1,750 Player Scouting Reports Written by the Legendary Branch Rickey, Reports About Many Baseball Hall of Famers Included in Collection

From The Library of Congress:

Baseball scouting reports of one of the most famous baseball executives and scouts in history, Branch Rickey, who was also responsible for helping Jackie Robinson successfully break Major League Baseball’s color line, have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress. The archive was digitized in time for Major League Baseball’s new season and for the Library’s new exhibition “Baseball Americana” opening June 29.

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The collection includes about 1,750 baseball scouting reports from the 1950s and 1960s, documenting Rickey’s skill in analyzing various aspects of a player’s game and identifying some of the greats.

Direct to the Branch Rickey Papers

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Some of the better-known players featured in the collection include Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Frank Robinson, among others. In addition to future Hall of Famers, Rickey also evaluated hundreds of players who had varying degrees of success.

Highlights of the Rickey Papers include:

  • Rickey’s 1963 scouting report on Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing home run record of 714 in 1974. Rickey wrote that Aaron was “surely one of the greatest hitters in baseball today” but also noted Aaron “is frequently a guess hitter.”
  • A 1955 scouting report on Roberto Clemente, who amassed 3,000 hits in his Hall of Fame career for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • A report dated March 30-31, 1964, on future National Basketball Association great Dave DeBusschere, where Rickey predicted that DeBusschere “should become a corking good major league pitcher.”
  • For Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, Rickey noted on March 14, 1964, “when trying out young players… scouts and coaches would keep in mind Bob Gibson as a model for comparison and rate the prospect’s stuff accordingly.”

Direct to the Branch Rickey Papers

See Also:

A finding aid (PDF and HTML) to the larger Branch Rickey Papers is available online with links to the digital content on this site. (via LC)

See Also: The Life of Branch Rickey (Timeline)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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