Behind every ballplayer, whether he's a superstar or journeyman, there's a scout who noticed him and believed in his skills. The Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame recognizes these men, and its second class of inductees includes Barr, the Giants' scouting director.
"I feel very honored," said Barr, who's entering his 25th season as a baseball executive. "I've been fortunate enough to make a living out of a passion."
Few fans probably are aware that such a shrine to scouts even exists. The Goldklang Group, a sports entertainment consulting and management firm, announced this year's inductees earlier this week, with sponsorship provided by The Topps Co.
The relative anonymity is fine with Barr, who also has worked for the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers.
"In a lot of ways, we kind of like being behind the scenes," said Barr, who joined the Giants last offseason and was instrumental in the selection of catcher Buster Posey in the first round of last June's First-Year Player Draft. Barr also engineered the signing of 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Rafael Rodriguez.
Inductees must have at least 20 years of pro scouting experience while combining success in their profession with contributions made to baseball in other areas of the sport and community involvement.
Entering the scouts' Hall with Barr is the legendary Tom Greenwade, who signed Mickey Mantle for the New York Yankees. Greenwade also gave Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey the scouting report certifying that Jackie Robinson was the player best suited to integrate the Major Leagues.
Other honorees are Toronto's Tom Burns and Bob Fontaine, longtime scout and executive Al Goldis, the Chicago Cubs' Gary Hughes, Minnesota's Joe McIlvaine, the New York Mets' Roland Johnson, Arizona's Howard McCullough, Milwaukee's Rene Mons, St. Louis' Joe Rigoli and Philadelphia's Marti Wolever.
The inductees' names will be inscribed on the walls at the six Minor League clubs operated by the Goldklang Group (Charleston RiverDogs, Fort Myers Miracle, Hudson Valley Renegades, St. Paul Saints, Brockton Rox and Sioux Falls Canaries). Inductions will take place on dates to be announced.
In other Giants-related news, the club has promoted two members of its baseball operations department, naming Bobby Evans vice president of baseball operations and Jeremy Shelley senior director of baseball operations/pro scouting. Both are beginning their 16th seasons with the organization.