Astros Scout Gerry Craft Passes Away

Draft : : Story
David Rawnsley        
Published: Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Baseball lost one of its most colorful and unique scouts yesterday when long-time Houston Astros scout Gerry Craft passed away after suffering a massive stroke.

Craft was a minor league first baseman from 1974 to 1978 but never advanced beyond A ball.  He went straight from playing to managing the Boise Buckskins then worked as an area scout for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1980 to 1986.  He was then hired as the Houston Astros Northeast Crosschecker and worked in that position for over 20 years.  He had been a professional scout in that organization the past two seasons.

But despite Craft's scouting talents, he really set himself apart from his peers with some of his "off the field" pursuits.

After joining the Astros, Craft started what is considered the first "school" to train baseball scouts.  The school, held during the off-season in California, was predeccesor to the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau Scout's School.  The Atlanta Braves have also conducted scout schools in the past.  Even after closing the school, Craft's ability to teach the profession made him a mentor to numerous scouts across the country over the next two decades.

Craft's real hobby, though, was poker and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to call him the greatest poker player in the history of baseball.  In fact, Gerry once told me that scouting was his real hobby and that it functioned to enable him to play poker, his first love, more often.  Craft finished in the money at numerous national level poker tournaments, although he always maintained that the real action (and the real money) was in the side games up in the suites before and after such events.

I once asked Gerry how he managed to keep his baseball money (remember that scouts aren't especially well paid) and his poker money (where money tends to lose its perspective occasionally) from mixing.  He simply said, "two separate bank accounts and never the two shall meet."

Craft was also the centerpiece of an hour long documentary released in 2002 called "A Scout's Life".  Director Nathan Kaufman spent a month on the road with Craft during the spring detailing what a baseball scout does for a living.
Recent Related Articles
2017 MLB Draft: Raw Draft Order
For the first time since 2001, when they selected Joe Mauer, the Minnesota Twins will have the first overall pick in the 2017... READ 
Area Code Games Day 4 Notes
PG All-American shortstop Adam Hall is enjoying a huge summer highlighted by his three-run bomb on Tuesday at the 2016 Area C... READ 
Area Code Games Day 3 Notes
PG All-American and five-tool talent Jordon Adell had a memorable day at the plate on Monday at the 2016 Area Code Games as D... READ 
Most Viewed Related Articles
Area Code Games Day 1 Notes
Unrelated PG All-American outfielders Garrett (p) and Calvin Mitchell stood out at the plate on Saturday as David Rawnsley pr... READ 
East Coast Pro Day 1 Notes
Perfect Game All-American outfielder Cole Brannen stood out in both batting practice and during game action as David Rawnsley... READ 
East Coast Pro Day 2 Notes
PG All-American Nicholas Storz has been showing off big power in his bat this summer, however, his mid-90s heat on the mound ... READ 

About Perfect Game :: Contact us :: Site Map
Copyright 1994-2016 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.