The Obit For Joe Lewis

Longtime Scout Joe Lewis Dies at 102

The Lakeland Ledger

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.

Baseball has lost one of its recruiting "icons."

Longtime scout Joseph W. Lewis Sr. died Saturday in Somerset, Mass. He was 102.

Lewis worked with Anaheim, Cleveland, Detroit, Texas and the old Washington Senators franchise until he retired from the Angels after the 2000 season.

In more than 50 years of scouting at the pro level, Lewis discovered the talents of Ruben Sierra and Charles Nagy. Years before, he scouted Thurman Munson and Tom Grieve, according to his obituary in The Herald News in Fall River, Mass.

"He was such a dedicated baseball guy," Boston Red Sox scout Joe McDonald said. "He loved the game. He was a very good scout."

Lewis spent time in Lakeland during and after his career.

For many years, he would spend seven months living in a Lakeland hotel and the other five at his home in Somerset, according to a Ledger story in 2002.

Well into his 90s, Lewis was making the back-and-forth trip by car.

"He was amazing man to drive the car as he did and come to spring training every year," McDonald said.

Lewis was even spotted at Tigertown this spring, though it was unknown if he drove his car down from Massachusetts.

"He was an icon," said McDonald, who lives in Lakeland. "To remain as sharp as he was, as his years came upon him, was amazing."

Lewis' son, also named Joe, spent time with Detroit as a player, minor-league coach and later a scout. McDonald said he worked with the younger Lewis in the Tigers organization for six years.

McDonald added he was "proud" of Joe Jr., who died in 1996.

The funeral for Joe Lewis Sr. will be held this morning.

"(He was) a dedicated, wonderful man, who was a credit to our game," McDonald said.