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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Phil Pote, a Los Angeles coach and scout who helped build baseball in the inner city, dies at 85

Baseball lost another legendary scout.

From the outside, the story appeared to be that of a white man leading an African American team from the inner city to victory. But that 1963 Fremont team was the last team from South Los Angeles to win the City championship. In the last 45 years, only one team outside the San Fernando Valley has won the title at the highest level: San Pedro, in 1992.

Pote aspired to rebuild baseball in South Los Angeles, where such stars as Eric Davis, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith and Darryl Strawberry grew up. The late John Young, who founded Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, an academic and athletic program that has since been adopted by Major League Baseball and expanded nationally, said he was inspired by Pote’s efforts.

“I was a poor kid from Pico and Union, and sports was the attraction,” Pote told The Times in 2011. “As a coach, I saw this repeated a number of times: Athletics is the attraction, education is the goal. But you can’t educate them if you don’t attract them.”

In 2009, Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote about how Pote had remained active in scouting without using the not-so-new tools of the trade: a radar gun, a video camera, a cellphone, even an email address.

“I came into this world without all that technology,” Pote said. “I will leave without it.”

Pote is survived by his brother, Wayne, 98, and two nieces. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2018 at 11:14 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, dodgers, mariners, phil pote

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. stevegamer Posted: August 22, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5731885)
Really interesting read, thanks for sharing.
   2. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 22, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5731986)
A great guy. So knowledgeable, passionate about scouting, and funny. He made a great impression on the staff at Cooperstown a number of years ago.

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