Inside the Cardinals: Gary LaRocque: Part One

A 34-year professional baseball veteran and senior advisor to player development for the St. Louis Cardinals discusses his foundation in the game in the first installment of a three-part interview.

On September 16, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the ascension of John Vuch to Farm Director. While the long-time Cardinal is well-prepared for the job, Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak took an extra step to help ensure success by assigning Gary LaRocque to take on a new position as senior advisor to player development. While continuing to report to Mozeliak, LaRocque, a long-time MLB executive, is lending his considerable skills to assisting Vuch.

LaRocque, 57, was hired by the Cardinals in January, 2008. Though relatively unknown outside of baseball circles, he has served as an important member of the operations staff. His previous title was the senior special assistant to the general manager where he has provided advice and counsel to Mozeliak and carried direct professional scouting responsibilities.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, LaRocque spent ten years in key positions with the New York Mets. The North Carolina resident was a professional scout in 2007, vice president, professional scouting in 2006 and vice president, player development and scouting for 2004-2005. LaRocque was responsible for the signings of current Major Leaguers David Wright and Scott Kazmir while leading the Mets' amateur drafts. He first joined the Mets as director of amateur scouting in 1999.

In the earlier stages of his 34-year career in professional baseball, LaRocque had stints as a minor league player, manager and coach. He was Manager of the Year in the Pioneer League in 1981 and Gulf Coast League in 1983 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After moving into the Dodgers scouting operation in 1989, LaRocque served as an amateur scout and regional scouting supervisor for nine seasons.

In this three-part series, we first get to know Gary through his vast experiences in the game, going back to his college days in Connecticut through his time with the Dodgers and Mets, building the foundation for his current assignments with St. Louis.

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In Part Two, we will delve into LaRocque's initial responsibilities with the Cardinals, focusing on scouting. In the final installment, we'll get into the details of his new role working with Vuch.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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