Vice President, Scouting Operations
Don Welke was named vice president, scouting operations for the San Diego Padres on August 19, 2014. He joined the Padres after spending parts of the last eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, where he most recently held the role of senior special assistant to the general manager, scouting. In that role, Welke assisted the general manager and his staff in personnel evaluation and served as a resource in all areas of baseball operations.
Welke brings 50 years of baseball scouting experience to his role with the Padres, having begun his scouting career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. Over the last eight seasons, during his second stint with the Rangers, Welke was instrumental in the club's consecutive World Series appearances in 2010-11 as well as in the bolstering of the organization's farm system, having been directly involved in the signings and acquisitions of Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus, Martin Perez, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre.
At the 2012 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. he was named the Midwest Scout of the Year by his peers. Welke also received a pair of honors in the 2011 offseason with the Legends in Scouting Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation and the inaugural Scout of the Year Award, bearing his name, from the Rangers Organization.
Prior to re-joining the Rangers in 2007, he held the role of special assistant to former Philadelphia General Manager Pat Gillick, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, with whom he had previously worked with in Toronto and Baltimore. In 2005, he worked for the Rangers' international scouting department as cross-checker and was instrumental in reestablishing the organization's presence in Latin America.
Prior to working with the Rangers and Phillies, Welke also worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2004), Baltimore Orioles (1996-99), Toronto Blue Jays (1977-95), Kansas City Royals (1970-76) and Cincinnati Reds (1965-69). Over the course of his career he has been directly involved with signing such players as Dave Stieb, Pat Hentgen, John Olerud, Willie Blair and Shawn Green.
He also worked as an advance scout for the gold medal-winning Team USA baseball squad at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and again with Team USA for the 2003 Olympic qualifier in Panama.
A native of Illinois, Welke has degrees from Carthage (WI) College, where he played baseball and basketball, as well as Eastern Michigan University. He was named to the Carthage College Hall of Fame and is also in the hall of fame for his high school, Harvard (IL) High. Welke has three children and now resides in San Diego.