From Hermiston to the major leagues

Scott Ramsay

Scott Ramsay was more than impressed with Kennison Field on Friday night.

“It’s so different,” said Ramsay, a former all-state defensive back for Hermiston. “We played on grass and dirt, and there was a big hump in the middle of the field. There was a cinder track around the field, and there was a baseball field in the northwest corner. The football field was in the outfield of the baseball field. This is really nice.”

The 1979 Hermiston High School graduate and former Bulldogs captain, was one of the honorary captains during the Homecoming celebration Friday, along with 1969 graduate Charley Grabeel.

When he was asked to return to his hometown, Ramsay said he didn’t have to think twice.

“When somebody asks you do something, then somebody probably wants you here,” he said. “I try not to let anyone down.”

Ramsay, 57, was a defensive back, quarterback and running back during his football days at Hermiston. On the baseball field, he was an all-state outfielder his junior year, and an all-state pitcher his senior year.

After high school, Ramsay played football and baseball at the University of Idaho for one year. When Idaho dropped baseball, he transferred to Whitworth University, where he continued to play baseball.

He pitched for the Pirates until an injury his junior year cut his baseball career short.

While his playing days were over, his life in baseball was just beginning.

In 1984, he was hired as a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Other than the one year he coached at Blue Mountain Community College (1990-91), Ramsay has been involved in Major League Baseball.

“It’s been 33 years of this,” he said. “It’s all I know anymore.”

Ramsay, who lives north of Spokane, is in his fifth year as a scout with the Washington Nationals. His area covers Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. He also covers all of Canada.

He also has worked for the Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

“When scouts jump, it’s usually a promotional jump,” Ramsay said.

Among the players Ramsay has signed, are Jimmy Rollins, Johnny Estrada and Brandon Duckworth.

“They are All-Star guys,” he said.

Ramsay spends a good deal of time in the Northwest, and has scouted players from the Tri-Cities to Pendleton, and everywhere in between.

“I was in Hermiston two years ago when they played West Linn, and I got to see the new field at the middle school,” he said. “I haven’t spent a lot of time here recently, their program has been down a little. I am in the Tri-Cities every year, and Pendleton has had some good kids. I’ve been in Stanfield and watched the Grogan boys (Quin and Dylan). I’m always around.”

The Nationals missed out on Southridge High School’s Mason Martin nearly two years ago. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“He’s a good kid,” Ramsay said. “That’s still a sore subject.”

And, scouting the Northwest means he gets to come home every now and again.

“Hermiston is a small community with a typical small-town atmosphere,” he said. “You know everybody. I have always been kind of a country boy. Still am.”

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