RIP - Red Murff
I tried interviewing him about 5 months ago and his wife said he was in a nursing home, not well enough to interview. Last week, he passed away at 87.
Here's the AP story:
Scout who discovered Ryan dead at 87
The Associated Press
Published: November 29, 2008
TYLER, Texas: John Robert "Red" Murff, the New York Mets scout who discovered Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, died Friday in a Tyler nursing home. He was 87.
Bill McMillion, a spokesman for Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Directors, confirmed the death. McMillion said he had no additional information.
Ryan, now president of the Texas Rangers, noted his friendship with Murff in his 1999 Hall of Fame induction speech.
"He thought when he saw me at 6-foot-2 and 140 pounds, he wasn't discouraged by my build and by the way I threw the baseball as many other scouts were," he said. "And I appreciate the fact that Red spent so much time with me and worked to help me become a better pitcher. Thank you, Red."
Murff played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1956-1957, going 2-2 with three saves and a 4.65 ERA in 26 games.
Murff was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Texas Scouts Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He helped start the baseball program at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, and in 1994 the school's ballpark was named Red Murff Field.