Scout signed Mazeroski, Wills, Groat

PITTSBURGH -- Rex Bowen, the great baseball scout who signed Bill Mazeroski, Maury Wills and Dick Groat, died at 93.

Bowen, a former Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds executive, died Thursday in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., the Pirates said Monday.

Bowen joined the Pirates as a scout in 1950 and was promoted to scouting director in 1959. He was a special assistant to the general manager in Cincinnati from 1968-90. Bowen was chosen as one of the top 10 scouts of the previous century in 2000 by Baseball America, a trade publication.

Mazeroski, a second baseman who became a Hall of Famer, signed with Pittsburgh in 1954. Wills and Groat were both shortstops and National League MVPs. Wills signed with the Dodgers in 1950 and Groat with Pittsburgh in 1952.

Bowen also signed pitcher Roger Craig and infielders Gene Freese and Gene Michael, who later managed the Yankees and Cubs.

Bowen had an impact on Mazeroski's life off the field. Mazeroski met his wife, Milene, when she was Bowen's secretary and the two married in 1958.

Bowen's grandson, Jackie Bowen, is the New York Mets' scouting director.

Bowen was a longtime resident of the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon. A funeral and burial are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 14 in his hometown of Bridgeton, N.J.