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Rafael Avila

From BR Bullpen

Rafael Urbano Avila

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Biographical Information[edit]

Rafael Avila, also called Ralph Avila, was a very successful scout.

Born in Camagüey, Cuba, in 1930, he was involved in a group that plotted to kill Fulgencio Batista. He later joined Fidel Castro's revolution but soured on that movement and came to Miami, FL. He was later involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion attempt.

The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Avila as a scout in Latin America in 1970. He became heavily involved in the Dominican Republic. He occasionally worked with the Licey Tigers and the Dominican national team. He coached for the Dominican Republic in the 1992 Olympics.

Avila helped form the baseball academy system in the Dominican Republic and also helped in creating the Dominican Summer League. He worked closely with Epy Guerrero, another legendary Latin scout, on these projects.

Among the players he signed for the Dodgers were Pedro Martinez, Rick Rhoden, Ramon Martinez, Mariano Duncan, Alejandro Pena, Candy Maldonado and Omar Daal.

In 2006, Major League Baseball named him the International Scout of the Year. As of 2011, Avila was the Dodgers' Senior Scouting Advisor, Dominican Republic.

Avila's son, Al Avila was the GM of the Daytona Beach Admirals in 1987, head coach at St. Thomas University and has worked in the front offices of the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers. Avila is also the grandfather of Alex Avila.

He died in Miami, FL on January 30, 2023, of natural causes at age 92. His place of death has also been listed as Miami, FL.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Cesar Brioso (USA Today): "Ralph Ávila, who helped establish Dodgers' baseball academy in Dominican Republic, dies at 92", Yahoo! News, January 31, 2023. [1]
  • Ken Gurnick: "Former Dodgers scout Ralph Avila dies at 92",, January 31, 2023. [2]

Related Sites[edit]