Longtime Twins scout Mike Radcliff dies at 66
The Twins vice president for personnel died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer
Mike Radcliff, a longtime scout who left his fingerprints all over the Minnesota Twins organization, died Friday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 66.
Radcliff, the Twins’ vice president of player personnel, had been with the organization since 1987, when he was hired as an area scout. In 1993, he took over as the Twins’ director of scouting, a position he held until 2007. He had held his current position since then.
“Mike was the heart and soul of our scouting department for over 30 years, a man who was beloved and respected by staff, players, fellow scouts, agents and his peers alike,” the Twins said in a statement.
Former Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who worked alongside Radcliff for years, said Radcliff was never the loudest voice in the room “but he certainly was the most respected.”
“I don’t think he could go anywhere domestically or internationally where a person didn’t know who he was, and if he was in the ballpark, there was a reason for it and people would take notice,” Ryan said Friday.
Radcliff was a baseball lifer, a tireless worker well-respected around the game for his talent-evaluation prowess. Even after receiving his cancer diagnosis, Radcliff remained involved, participating in organization Zooms and even taking some trips.
“His health dictated that he probably should have been at home, but he would not delegate unless he was willing to do it himself,” Ryan said. “There wasn’t any player or team or assignment that was too trivial for him.”
Although he was not the scouting director at the time, Ryan said Radcliff was adamant that the Twins select Torii Hunter with the 20th pick of the 1993 draft. Radcliff served as the final voice when the Twins drafted the local kid, Joe Mauer, in 2001, a decision Ryan said was probably Radcliff’s toughest as scouting director. Among members of the current team, Radcliff helped sign Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco as part of the 2009 international class.
Also selected during Radcliff’s time overseeing the Twins’ draft operations, Twins favorites such as Jacque Jones (2nd round, 1996), Twins Hall of Famer Michael Cuddyer (1st round, 1997), Twins Hall of Famer Justin Morneau (3rd round, 1999), Denard Span (1st round, 2002) and Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004).
“Mike had a knack of being able to decipher what a guy’s going to do when he’s 23, 24 and 25,” Ryan said. “ … Mike’s a smart guy, I’ll tell you that. He’s a bright guy. He probably was the smartest man in the room on almost any occasion. And he knew what he was doing, and he had just one of those instincts that ‘This guy’s going to be something.’ And he was correct on many fronts when we were picking our players.”
Radcliff received the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement in 2021 for his impact on the organization. He was also the 2016 recipient of the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in scouting and was recently inducted into the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Scouts Hall of Fame.
Radcliff is survived by his wife Sherry and his children, Brett and Erin.
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