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'A lot of artistry about this boy': Branch Rickey scouts Drysdale in 1954

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Via the most excellent John Thorn, official MLB historian, comes this 1954 scouting report filed by the luminous Branch Rickey, then baseball-ops boss of the Pirates. His subject? A 17-year-old right-hander out of Van Nuys, California, name of Don Drysdale ...

(Note: Contrary to the text, Drysdale was 17 at the date of this report.)

"A lot of artistry about this boy"! "Let him alone on all his fingering"! He's a "chap"!

As the handwritten note reminds us, Drysdale eventually signed with the Dodgers, thanks in part to his father's steering him there. He went on to win 209 games, post a lifetime ERA of 2.95 and make the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Branch Rickey, you see, was on to something.

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