The Obit For Bob Zuk

Baseball scout Bob Zuk dies at 77

Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 12:42:53 PM PST

REDLANDS Bob Zuk, a professional baseball scout and longtime resident of Redlands, died Saturday, April 9, at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, after a long illness. He was 77.
He was born April 12, 1927, in Detroit and signed with the New York Giants in 1948.

A month into his stint with the Giants, a shoulder injury caused the Giants to release him. After that, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and worked with the recreation department in Oakland. He also played semi-pro baseball in that area.

During those years, he got to know George Powles, a legendary baseball and basketball coach in the Bay Area. Powles introduced him to many baseball people, and in 1957 Zuk got his first scouting job, with the Chicago White Sox.

He continued as a professional baseball scout for more than 40 years, retiring in 2003.

Zuk settled in Redlands in 1966 and worked out of Redlands until he retired.

Throughout his career, he scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos, Kansas City A's, Oakland A's, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Zuk signed three baseball players who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Willie Stargell while with the Pirates, Reggie Jackson with the Kansas City A's and Gary Carter with the Montreal Expos.

As a territorial scout, he signed 22 players who reached the major leagues. The accumulated home runs by players he signed total 2,444, putting him second on the all-time list for scouts in that category.

His last position before retiring was as a special assistant to the general manager with the Cincinnati Reds.

His wife, Dolores, said he always loved baseball. "As a youngster, he used to sneak off and play baseball," she said, even though his parents didn't necessarily approve.

In 1997 he was inducted into the RBI Inner City Hall of Fame, and on Jan. 8 this year he received the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Dolores Zuk of Redlands; two sons, Warren Zuk of Redlands and Robert F. Zuk of Atherton, Calif.; a daughter, Laura Hamlett of Corona; and six grandchildren.

A service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Cortner Chapel, 221 Brookside Ave., Redlands.