Al LaMacchia dies at 89; longtime baseball scout pushed Dodgers to hire Andre Ethier

Al LaMacchia, a longtime baseball scout who pushed the Dodgers to acquire Andre Ethier, died Wednesday at his home in San Antonio after suffering a stroke earlier this month. He was 89.

LaMacchia, who pitched 16 games in the major leagues in the 1940s, had a scouting career that spanned six decades. Before joining the Dodgers in 2003, he worked for the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.

LaMacchia was a Blue Jays vice president when the team won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and '93.

Among the players LaMacchia was credited with signing or scouting were former most valuable players Dale Murphy and George Bell, All-Stars Dave Stieb and David Wells and former major leaguer Cito Gaston, who went on to manage the Blue Jays in their championship seasons. In 2005, LaMaccia told Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti that he should acquire Ethier, who at the time was a minor league outfielder in the Oakland A's organization.

LaMacchia was known to shun the use of such modern scouting tools as radar guns, computers and stop watches.

"I trust my eyes," LaMacchia told Times columnist Bill Plaschke in 2006. "Been good enough so far."

LaMacchia, who was born in St. Louis on July 22, 1921, served in the Army during World War II. He played briefly with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators before becoming a scout.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ann; a daughter, Rozanna; a son, Michael; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

Services are pending.

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