About this Collection
The approximately 1,750 baseball scouting reports from the 1950s and 1960s presented here are part of the papers of Branch Rickey (1881-1965), best known as the executive who broke Major League Baseball's color line by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers roster in 1947. By that date, however, Rickey had already built an impressive career as a player, manager, and baseball executive, which eventually earned him a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The scouting reports, which are located in a series of baseball files in the Rickey collection, were compiled between 1951 and 1964. They are mostly concentrated in the years 1951-1956 and 1962-1963, while Rickey was associated, respectively, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
The reports document Rickey's skill in analyzing various aspects of a player's game. They reveal his candor in assessing a player's talent and sometimes include blunt comments about a player's upbringing or family background. Some of the better-known names featured include Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Roberto Clemente, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski, Stan Musial, and Frank Robinson. Future managers George Lee "Sparky" Anderson and Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst are also evaluated as players. In addition to these Hall-of-Famers, Rickey also evaluated hundreds of players who had varying degrees of success in the minor and major leagues. Many players rated multiple reports over the course of several years.
The scouting reports are arranged by year and then alphabetically by last name within that year.