LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bill Kearns, a member of the Mariners organization since its inception in 1977, was honored as one of the Major League's top scouts on Wednesday during a banquet at baseball's Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.
Kearns, 92, was honored along with Bill Bryk and Howard McCullough of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Doug Mapson of the Giants as 2013 Scout of the Year award winners.
The annual award, now in its 30th year, was created to acknowledge baseball scouts that have devoted at least a quarter of a century to the profession. All recipients are also honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in the Diamond Mines exhibit.
Kearns, who served in the Navy during World War II, played four years of Minor League baseball in the Dodgers system before finishing his college degree. After a brief stint as a player/manager in Canada, Kearns signed as a part time scout with the Brooklyn Dodgers and eventually landed full-time jobs with the White Sox and Royals before Mariners general manager Lou Gorman hired him in 1976.
He continues to actively scout and typically attends 200-plus games a year as well as Spring Training.