"He thought when he saw me at 6-foot-2 and 140 pounds, he wasn't discouraged by my build and by the way I threw the baseball as many other scouts were. And I appreciate the fact that Red spent so much time with me and worked to help me become a better pitcher. Thank you, Red."
An old, but still meaningful quote from team president Nolan Ryan said during his 1999 Hall of Fame induction speech. "Red" is John Robert Murff, a New York Mets scout who discovered Ryan in 1964. Murff also saw some action in the major leagues, toiling in the minors before finally making the Milwaukee Braves' roster in 1957 as a 35-year-old rookie. He is also credited with scouting former All-Star catcher Jerry Grote.
Murff was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Texas Scouts Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He also helped start the baseball program at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, and in 1994 the school's ballpark was named Red Murff Field.
Murff passed away Friday in a Tyler nursing home. He was 87.