On Thursday evening, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced scout Mike Brito, who had worked for the organization for almost 45 years and discovered talents such as Fernando Valenzuela, Yasiel Puig, Julio Urías and others, had passed away at the age of 87.
Brito served as the Dodgers’ Mexican League scout since he was hired in 1978 and signed 32 players who made it to the bigs. Victor Gonzalez is another current Dodger he helped lure from Mexico.
Shortly after his passing, Valenzuela, Puig and even manager Dave Roberts offered their condolences because of the obvious and positive impact he had on all of them. Roberts considered him a friend.
His impact on the game cannot be denied. Brito’s work in Mexico helped MLB expand its scouting in the country in a massive way. Before his arrival in LA, Mexican players were wildly underrepresented in MLB, with fewer than 40 making it to the big leagues up until 1978.
Though many may not have known who Brito was, he’s been recognized for his work. Back in 2005 he was inducted into the Cuban Hall of Fame (he was born in Cuba) and was named International Scout of the Year back in 2014 at the Winter Meetings.
More Articles About Fernando Valenzuela:
Dodgers mourn the loss of Mexican scout Mike Brito on Thursday
Brito is the latest among those the Dodgers have lost in recent years. Tommy Lasorda, Sandra Scully, Tommy Davis, Don Sutton and others were notable, heartbreaking losses since late 2020.
The 61-year-old Valenzuela released a statement in response to Brito’s death on Thursday night, thanking him for his passion for the game and dedication to his craft, which helped discover one of the greatest Mexican players in baseball history.
Puig also tweeted a video of Brito talking about the early days of scouting the slugger and thanked him for “changing his life.”
Brito was a baseball player himself, logging time in the Washington Senators’ minor league system before playing pro ball in Mexico, which eventually led to his work with the Dodgers.
He’ll forever be remembered by the Dodgers for his work in the sport, but his eccentric outfits and personality also went a long way in defining who he was.