Billy Blitzer

From BR Bullpen

Billy Blitzer

Biographical Information[edit]

Billy Blitzer is a long-time scout for the Chicago Cubs after getting his start with the Major League Scouting Bureau. In 2011, he is responsible for evaluating other teams' minor league talent as a professional scout, although most of his career has been spent in amateur scouting. Among his most famous finds are Shawon Dunston, who was the top overall pick in the 1982 amateur draft, and Jamie Moyer, but he has signed many others, such as 3B Gary Scott, a famous bust after being rushed to the major leagues, Alex Arias, Derrick May and Greg Smith.

He grew up in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY and attended Abraham Lincoln High School at the same time as Lee Mazzilli (the two were teammates in the outfield), then attended Hunter College where he played for the varsity team and was named a coaching staff assistant while still an undergraduate. After graduation, he continued to coach around Brooklyn, when he was contacted by scout Ralph DiLullo from the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1975 and was offered a job as an unpaid bird dog scout. At the time, he was coaching high school standout Dallas Williams, who was attending his old high school and would be a first-round choice in the 1976 amateur draft, which explains how he came into contact with some pro scouts. Both DiLulo and Herb Stein, another long-time scout, took him under their wing and taught him the fine points of scouting. In 1982, he was offered a full-time scouting position with the Cubs, covering the Northeast. He accepted (after managing to convince his mother that scouting was a decent occupation with a good future) and has never left the Cubs' organization since. He began working for the Cubs that fall (thus explaining why he does not get credit for signing Dunston, who had signed his contract a few months earlier, even though he was the first person who scouted him).

He was the recipient of the A.B. "Turk" Karam Award in 1990.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lee Lowenfish: "29 Years and Counting: A Visit with longtime Cubs Scout Billy Blitzer", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 49-52.