In the collection is a handwritten letter from a 23-year old Jim Kaat to Frank Scott, one of baseball’s first player agent. It’s dated November 14, 1961. Kaat was coming off of a year in which he led the league in hit batters and wild pitches.
Though he won 9 games, he lost 17. Kaat’s career win-loss record at the time of the letter was 10-24. The rest of his career Kaat went 273-213. With 283 career wins Kaat finds himself on the outside looking in when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
Scott’s story is equally interesting. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Scott’s career path was quite by accident.
“Scott’s career as an agent started almost by accident. He and his wife, the former Bette Sheppard, were visiting (Yogi) Berra and his wife, Carmen, when Carmen noticed that Scott was not wearing a watch.
‘She excused herself,’ Scott recalled, ‘and reappeared with a whole tray of wristwatches, at least 20, and told me to take my pick. That’s how those scoundrels had been paying off Yogi for personal appearances. He didn’t know any better. We didn’t know any better. It’s different now.’
It became different when Scott started working for the players. His first clients were Berra, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Later baseball clients included Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Whitey Ford, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Larry Doby, Walter Alston, Ralph Branca, Bob Feller and Roy Campanella.
He also represented Vince Lombardi, Frank Gifford and Y. A. Tittle from football and Oscar Robertson and Bob Cousy from basketball.”
Cool stuff, thanks for sharing.