Tigers mourn loss of veteran scout Scott Reid

June 30th, 2021

While Tigers fans came to know Dave Dombrowski and Al Avila as the key architects behind the team’s revival in the 2000s and 2010s, most never heard about Scott Reid. That was OK with him, and fit his style as the quiet evaluator behind the scenes, but he was one of the most trusted voices in Detroit’s front office for nearly two decades, and one of the most respected members of the scouting industry for far longer.

Reid, who worked for the Tigers as a scouting director, adviser and vice president of player personnel, passed away at age 74, leaving the Tigers organization and the scouting community in mourning.

The Tigers issued a statement from general manager Al Avila:

“Myself, along with so many others across the baseball community, are saddened to learn of Scott Reid’s passing. We were blessed to spend decades working in the trenches alongside Scott, and will always remember his passion for baseball, intellect of the game, and his standing as an all-around great talent evaluator, father and person. Scott was a trusted advisor to many in the Tigers' organization, and a dear friend to all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sherry, son, Brian, and daughter, Lindsay, during this difficult time.”

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch also took time to remember Reid before Wednesday’s doubleheader against Cleveland.

“He meant a lot to this organization, meant a lot to a lot of people in this organization,” Hinch said. “Our thoughts are with his family, with his friends, with colleagues, people around the game that he touched. Just gone too soon.”

Reid played college baseball at Arizona State before playing 38 games over two seasons with the Phillies, starting a career that lasted more than 50 years in pro baseball. His bigger impact on the game happened while around the diamond rather than on it.

After the playing portion of Reid’s career ended in 1973, he became a coach and scout in the Phillies and Cubs organizations, serving as Cubs scouting director in 1986 and 1987. He was one of the early hires in the Marlins front office as a Major League scout in 1992, beginning nearly a quarter-century of working with Dombrowski, including a World Series championship with the Marlins in 1997.

Reid became an assistant to Dombrowski with the Marlins in 1999 and was promoted to vice president a few months later. When Dombrowski joined the Tigers before the 2002 season, he brought Reid with him as part of his inner circle of advisers, with Avila eventually joining them.

“There was not a conversation or a trade that we made that he wasn't involved,” said Dombrowski, now the Phillies’ president of baseball operations.

Together, the group took a Tigers roster that set an American League record with 119 losses in 2003 and built an AL champion a few years later, followed by four consecutive division titles and another AL title in 2012. Reid had input on virtually every move. More than an adviser, Dombrowski called Reid a special person and a friend.

“He was very involved from a talent evaluation perspective,” Dombrowski said, “but I think it also spoke to how close a group that we had. It was just a very, very close group. We were together for a very long time. We were businesspeople, but we were friends.”

Along the way, Reid was a veteran mentor and source of advice for young scouts and officials across baseball. Among them was Hinch, who served as director of player development with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2006 to 2009 and Padres pro scouting director from 2010 to 2014.

“You cross paths with so many people in the game and overlap in games and scouting events and Futures Games,” Hinch said. “When I was in the front office and in scouting departments in my various stops, I always came across [Reid]. He touched so many lives of young scouts and was a mentor to a lot of people.”

Reid was a mentor for Scott Bream, who eventually succeeded Reid as Tigers vice president of player personnel when Reid became a senior adviser to Avila.

“He worked with all the guys in that department,” Dombrowski said. “He took a guy like Scott under his wings and basically trained him. But there were many others. He could teach them about scouting, evaluating players, filling out reports. He was a true professional in that regard, and he really liked doing that with young people.”

Fitting, then, that both of Reid’s children became involved in baseball. Brian Reid worked as a scout for the Tigers and remains in scouting with the Mets. Lindsay Reid Clouser is a Senior Director of Product Communications for Major League Baseball.