12/04/2006 10:44 AM ET
Cubs' Tim Wilken named East Coast Scout of the Year
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tim Wilken, director of professional and amateur scouting for the Chicago Cubs, has been named East Coast Scout of the Year, it was announced today at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida.
Wilken has been in scouting for 28 years, 24 of which were with the Toronto Blue Jays where he served as an area scout, minor league coach and manager, national cross checker, scouting director, director of U.S. scouting and vice president of baseball operations.
Tim contributed to Toronto's signing and developing a distinguished list of players including Casey Blake, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Freel, Jay Gibbons, Shawn Green, Roy Halladay, Orlando Hudson, Reed Johnson, Steve Karsay, Jimmy Key, Alex Rios, Shannon Stewart, Vernon Wells, Craig Wilson and Michael Young.
Tim coached Toronto's Pioneer League affiliate in 1980 and coached and managed their Gulf Coast League affiliate in 1981.
After his promotion to national cross checker in 1989, the Blue Jays draft was ranked in the top five each year, producing four Rawlings Gold Glove winners and two Cy Young Award winners. In 2003, Toronto was named Baseball America's Organization of the Year.
He served as a special assistant to the general manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for three years starting in 2003 before joining the Cubs in the winter of 2005.
Tim and his wife, Sheri, reside in Dunedin, Florida. They have five children: Casey, Fergus, Jenae, Karis, and Lauren.
The Scout of the Year Program
The Scout of the Year Program was founded by scouts Tony Pacheco, Jim Russo, and Hugh Alexander in 1984. The first year only one scout was honored, Howie Haak of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1985, long-time baseball executive Larry Himes became involved in developing the award and expanded the award to three recipients each year, one scout from each region of the country; East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. The following year Roberta Mazur, Himes' former assistant in the California Angels' Scouting Department, succeeded Himes as executive director of the program.
Each year the scouting directors from each organization submit names of active scouting personnel that have accumulated 25 years of experience in a full-time scouting capacity to be eligible for the Scout of the Year Award.
In August the list of nominees is sent to every Major League Scout. They may vote only for nominees in their region. The recipients are honored at baseball's winter meetings. Recipients receive a black bat from Hillerich & Bradsby, a mantle clock from Topps and a Scout of the Year ring.