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Royals' Watson honored with scouting award

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- When Royals director of pro scouting Gene Watson got the call that he was receiving the Legends in Scouting Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, he joked that there must be a mistake.

"I'm not that old, am I?" asked Watson, 49.

KANSAS CITY -- When Royals director of pro scouting Gene Watson got the call that he was receiving the Legends in Scouting Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, he joked that there must be a mistake.

"I'm not that old, am I?" asked Watson, 49.

But the PBSF assured him that the award was not age-related and was instead a tribute to those scouts who exemplify a love for the game and a passion for scouting. Watson certainly qualified.

Watson received the award at the 15th annual PBSF Awards Dnner in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Saturday. The event always brings out an array of stars across the baseball and entertainment fields, from George Brett to Tommy Lasorda to Larry King to Robert Wuhl.

"It was a very humbling experience," Watson said. "I was very honored. Scouting is my life, my passion."

The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation was founded in 2003 by White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert, D-backs executive Roland Hemond and big league scouts Dave Yoakum (White Sox) and Harry Minor (Mets), primarily as a way to provide financial assistance to scouts who have fallen on hard times due to job loss, illness or retirement.

Watson is in his 12th season with the Royals after coming from the Marlins' organization, where he worked as a pro scout covering the American League Central and the National League Central from 2002-05.

Watson began in the Padres' system in 1997 before joining the Braves and working under Royals general manager Dayton Moore there from 2000-02.

Watson played college baseball at the University of Texas at Arlington from 1989-91.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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