Legendary Ron Scott Explains His Wild Journey 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

FRESNO, Calif. — Ron Scott is one of the greatest college baseball coaches in history at Fresno City College.

Entering the 2021 season, he was only 19 wins from overtaking Don Sneddon (Santa Ana College) as the winningest community college coach in California history.

Scott has compiled a remarkable 1,054-394 record in 32 years with Fresno City College and led the Rams to the 1992 state title with a 45-7 overall record.

His teams have finished in the top four in the state eight other times as well.

Scott’s genius as a coach was molded as a catcher during his playing days as he learned every trick in the book from a number of amazing coaches, including Ron Fraser at the University of Miami.

This is the first time Collegiate Baseball has ever focused on how a coach acquired the knowledge to be exceptional.

You will read about numerous teaching points that Scott learned through the years that have made him the special coach he is.

Some of the bullet points include him being able to call every pitch as a catcher at the University of Miami and was even given the responsibility of pulling pitchers or leaving them in during his senior year with the Hurricanes.

He explains the value of coaching in 10-minute spurts to retain player focus, how infielders, pitchers and catchers at Miami were allowed to come up with their own pickoff plays, his thoughts on micromanaging players, his golden rule for pitch calling, trick plays, cutting players, utilizing bat girls and a full-proof system for bed checks in hotels.

Scott was a catcher at Cañada Junior College in California during the 1973 season and was recruited heavily by Fraser who had never recruited a player from California until then.

In Fraser’s first 10 years as head coach of the Hurricanes, he didn’t have scholarships to give out except for a couple of partial tuitions.

But in 1973, that changed as Miami’s baseball program was granted 13 scholarships when the limit for NCAA Division I baseball programs at the time was 24.

Miami had every starter returning from its 1973 team but was searching for another catcher. Scott accepted a full scholarship.

During the 1974 season, Miami qualified for the College World Series for the first time and finished second to Southern California which allowed the Hurricanes to be a major player on the national stage ever since. Miami finished with a 51-11 record.

“Coach Fraser told me that unless I made it to the Major Leagues, this will be as close as you get to it. And he was right. He treated us like Big Leaguers. We had 5-6 uniforms back then and never knew what we would wear from game to game.

“He always had a promotion going for each game. Somebody donated green uniforms for St. Patrick’s Day. But we could only wear them on that special day.”

Scott remembers one wild situation that came up during his memorable stay at Miami.

“We were about to play Florida or Florida St. on the road. Coach Fraser said we would fly if No. 7 at the dog track came in first during the last race of the day. He added that if we had a good practice, everybody would be let out early so we could watch that race at the track.

“We all wanted to go and had a great practice which ended early. We all jumped in cars and were off to the track. I remember being in a convertible driving to the dog track as fast as we could. All of us ran to the finish line so we could see how our dog finished.

“Incredibly, No. 7 won the race in a photo finish. There were 30 University of Miami baseball players all going nuts at the finish line after the winner was announced. So we ended up flying up and back for that series instead of traveling on a bus.”

“Coach Fraser did things like that. During the 1974 season, I was the starting catcher all season. It was a terrific ball club that qualified for the College World Series, and we played Southern California for the national title.

“Prior to the title game, Coach Fraser came over to me and said, ‘Scotty, I have a surprise for you and pointed above the third base dugout. He had flown my mom out from California to watch the national championship game. That was the only time she saw me play in my two years at Miami because our family had very little money.

“When I saw her, I started crying. He brought first class tickets for her to Omaha and back to California.

“But that was how this special man treated his players. He had great respect for everyone who played for him as well as the families.

“I played well at the College World Series and made the All-Tournament team as a catcher. Several of the other catchers in that tournament made it to the Big Leagues, but I didn’t.”

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