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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Branch Rickey (1881–1965). Scouting report on Don Drysdale (1936–1993), June 15, 1954. Carbon copy. Branch Rickey Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (069.00.00)

Scouting Report: Don Drysdale, 1954

In this extensive report on teenage pitching prospect Don Drysdale, Branch Rickey, then general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, offered a highly favorable and prescient early take on the future Hall of Famer. Rickey’s handwritten notation refers to Drysdale’s father as a “bird dog,” which is an unpaid scout. The document’s thoroughness is in stark contrast to his written report on minor leaguer Sparky Anderson, which read, in its entirety, “Of no interest.”