Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers scout Mike Brito passed away on Thursday at the age of 87. A native of Cuba, Brito moved to L.A. in 1968 and through his role as a Mexican League scout, began to work for then-Dodgers general manager Al Campanis.
Brito was hired full time by the Dodgers in 1978 and went on to sign Robert “Bobby” Castillo as his first addition to the organization. However, it was Brito’s signing of Fernando Valenzuela that put his stamp on the Dodgers organization.
“Mike was a great man and instrumental in my success as a baseball player on and off the field,” Valenzuela said. “No one loved the Dodger organization more than Mike and we will all miss him very much. My prayers go out to his wife, Rosario, and all of his family and friends.”
Prior to Valenzuela signing in 1979 and joining the Dodgers roster the following year, fewer than 40 players born in Mexico had ever played in the Majors. Brito helped sign more than 30 players to the Dodgers organization who then went on to play in the Majors, including Valenzuela, Castillo, Julio Urías, Yasiel Puig, Ismael Vadez, Antonio Osuna, Juan Castro and Dennis Reyes.
Puig, also shared a message on Twitter, saying Brito changed his life with a video sharing the story of how Brito discovered the talented outfielder.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) July 8, 2022
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared his condolences to Brito’s family and recalled the impact the legendary scout made on the organization.
“Mike is a baseball lifer, and I consider him a friend,” Roberts said. “And my heart goes out to him and his family. And he impacted the Dodgers organization for decades.
“I learned a lot from him talking about players and just seeing the game. And it doesn’t matter where on the map there was a baseball game, if there was a potential prospect, Mike was willing to be there and put his eyes on him.
“So he lived a great life and he’s certainly going to be missed.”
Brito was synonymous with Dodgers, Dodger Stadium
Brito became a fixture at Dodger Stadium, often sitting behind home plate in a trademark Panama hat, with a cigar and radar gun in hand. He was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and was named International Scout of the Year at the 2014 Winter Meetings in San Diego. Last year, he was the recipient of Baseball America’s 2021 Tony Gwynn Award for his lifetime of contributions to the game.
In his years after retiring as a scout, Brito was a regular visitor of the Vin Scully press box at Dodger Stadium.
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