* As a former Atlanta Braves scout used to say "you can tell the good scouts they have grey hair -- it's a sign of wisdom." And Walt Burrows (Brentwood Bay, BC) has been scanning the country for talent for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau. ....
By Bob Elliott
When Canadian director of the MLB Scouting Bureau Tom Valcke first met his new assistant, Walt Burrows, of Brentwood Bay, B.C. in 1992, Valcke asked him to name the top player in the province.
Burrows’ answer: shortstop Steve Nash.
“I raved about his abilities, went on and on,” Burrows recalled. “Tom says ‘Okay, let’s go see him.’ I had to say: ‘Well, he just quit to concentrate on basketball.’ I was lucky I wasn’t fired on the spot.”
For his ability to scout a future most valuable player -- even though it was basketball -- and for the way he has covered Canada coast to coast as head man for the previous 10 drafts after taking over for Valcke, Burrows is our choice as the 12th annual Canadian Baseball Network scout of the year.
Under Burrows’ watch, no less than 444 Canadians were drafted. He has been, he is and will continue to be, a staunch supporter of Canadian baseball.
Nash played for Burrows’ brother Bob Burrows at Lambrick Park in Victoria, B.C.
While Nash may have chosen the large orange ball over the white one, Burrows was on hand to catch the B.C. explosion:
Major-leaguers such as Jeff Francis, Rich Harden, Chris Mears, Aaron Myette, Aaron Guiel and Morneau, along with prospects Adam Loewen, Vince Perkins, Shawn Bowman, Cole Armstrong, Scott Mathieson and Brooks McNiven.
Previous scout of the year winners were Bill Scherrer of Buffalo, (Marlins); Bill McKenzie of Ottawa (Rockies); Tim Harkness of Oshawa (Padres); Cambridge’s Ed Heather (Jays); Wayne Norton of Port Moody, BC (Orioles), Walt Jefferies of Paris, Ont. (Blue Jays); Claude Pelletier (Mets) of Ste-Lezare, Que., the late Jim Kane (Braves) of Brampton, Ken Lenihan of Beford, N.S. (Major League Baseball Bureau), Dick Groch of Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Yankees) and Burlington's Jim Ridley (Twins).