Last week, the Dodgers family lost an absolute legend with the passing of long-time scout Mike Brito. An iconic staple at Dodger Stadium for years with his Panama hat and radar gun behind home plate, Brito was also instrumental in discovering several Latin players who went on to do great things in Los Angeles.
The most famous of which was, of course, Fernando Valenzuela, who won 141 games as a Dodger while bringing thousands of Chicano fans into the wonderful world of baseball. Brito also discovered Julio Urias and Victor Gonzalez, two more left-handed pitchers out of Mexico who were instrumental in bringing a World Series title back to Los Angeles in 2020.
The Mike Brito display at Dodger Stadium. https://t.co/PFlZ8Qfcxl
— Clint Pasillas (@realFRG) July 10, 2022
The influential scout also was a key in bringing Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig to the Dodgers where he was a staple for 7 seasons in blue. Over the weekend, Puig shared his love and appreciation for Brito.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) July 8, 2022
Puig famously defected from Cuba in 2012 and eventually became a legal resident of Mexico. It was there that the scout Brito saw Puig for the first time. The Dodgers eventually signed the 21-year-old Puig to a 7 year deal. He made his debut with the Dodgers one year later.
Dave Roberts Reacts to the Loss of Mike Brito
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared some words about Brito last week.
“Mike is a baseball lifer, and I consider him a friend. 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.”
At the end of last season, Brito was presented with the Tony Gwynn Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the game of baseball. The Tony Gwynn Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually by Baseball America for the greatest contributions to the game.