FORT MYERS, Fla. (August 8, 2013) - Tonight the Fort Myers Miracle and the Goldklang Group will induct Mike Russell into the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers. Russell is the ninth inductee in the sixth year of the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.
Prior to a 7:05 p.m. match-up with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Russell will be honored in a pre-game ceremony at the scouts wall at the entrance to the stadium. This unique honor is given to those who exist at the very foundation of player development for the Major Leagues. Russell will be commemorated with a bronze plaque, designed by the acclaimed US Bronze, and placed on display at Hammond Stadium.
"The honor of inducting scouts that have given their lives to this profession and the game of baseball remains a tremendous privilege," said Tyler Tumminia, Senior Vice President, Goldklang Group. "Over the past several years the SHOF has transformed from an idea into an initiative that is widely lauded within the industry. We are proud to continue this tradition of celebrating the careers of these deserving and distinguished scouts."
In the last six years, the Goldklang Group teams have honored over 60 professional baseball scouts. Inductees in Fort Myers have included: Terry Ryan (Minnesota Twins), Dave Yoakum (Chicago White Sox), Al Goldis (long time scout), John Barr (San Francisco Giants), Tom Kotchman (Los Angeles Angels), Rudy Santin (San Francisco Giants) Jack Gillis (Colorado Rockies) and Dan Jennings (Miami Marlins).
Russell began his professional baseball career in the San Francisco Giants organization as an area supervisor in 1987. After a stint as a recruiting coordinator for the University of Tennessee baseball program in 1990, Russell returned to the Giants as a national cross checker until 1994.
Joining the Toronto Blue Jays as an area supervisor in 1994, Russell began to scout Latin America. In 1996, Russell began his tenure with the Florida Marlins as an area supervisor and special assignment scout. Russell continued with the Marlins until 2002 when he was hired by the Detroit Tigers as a Major League scout. Currently, Russell scouts the National League East, both major and minor league teams.
During his career, Russell signed seven Major League players. Each team that Russell scouted for has appeared in the World Series in his time with the organization including twice with the Detroit Tigers. Russell was a member of the scouting staff for the 1997 Florida Marlins, the quickest expansion team to win a World Series Championship.
Born on August 19, 1960 in Florence, Ala., Russell attended Chipola Junior College and transferred to Troy State University and was eventually named a coach in 1985. Russell was on the coaching staff of two NCAA Division II National Championship teams in 1986 and 1987.
Russell currently resides in Gulf Breeze, Fla. with his wife, Jodi, and daughter, Katie.
"I am pleased to offer my congratulations to Mike Russell on his induction into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame," said Jim Lundeen, President of RJM Distributing. "Mr. Russell seems to be around championships wherever his work takes him, and has earned this recognition through his efforts and dedication to the game of baseball."
"Killebrew Root Beer is honored to partner with the Fort Myers Miracle and the Goldklang Group," said Lundeen. "We applaud their efforts to recognize professional baseball scouts and their honorable work of finding baseball talent."
Fans can attend the induction ceremony at 6:15 p.m. and the gates to Hammond Stadium open at 6 p.m. For tickets, call (239) 768-4210 or visit www.miraclebaseball.com.