Brito to be inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall

Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers' scout Mike Brito will be inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame on Feb. 6 in Miami, FL. The Cuba native joined the Dodgers as a scout in 1978 and has signed 27 players who have reached the Major Leagues, including Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela, Bobby Castillo, Ismael Valdez, Karim Garcia, Antonio Osuna, Juan Castro and Dennys Reyes.

"During his career, Mike Brito has made significant contributions, not only to the Dodger organization, but throughout the baseball industry at all levels of competition," said Dodger Senior Vice President and Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. "Mike is a most deserving choice for this honor and all of us in the Dodger family congratulate him."

"When I was a kid, I dreamed of playing in the Major Leagues," said Brito, a former catcher who injured his arm at age 26. "But when you love this game, you never get tired. I feel very lucky and honored to be selected for the Cuban Hall of Fame."

Brito, 70, maintains a full travel schedule throughout the year and his trademark Panama hat makes him one of the most recognized figures within the international baseball community. This month, he will scout the tryouts at the Mexico baseball academy in Monterrey and attend the Caribbean Series in Mazatlan.

Brito played with the Washington Senators' minor league system from 1955-61, reaching the Triple-A level. He later played professionally in Mexico from 1961-66 and moved to Los Angeles in 1968.

As a Mexican League scout, Brito continued to play baseball on the weekends, which led to his association with the Dodgers. Brito signed Bobby Castillo after the Lincoln High School product struck out Brito on a full-count screwball with the bases loaded during an adult baseball league game in East Los Angeles in 1977. Castillo, the first player signed by Brito, eventually taught the screwball pitch to Valenzuela during the Arizona Instructional League in 1979. Two years later, Valenzuela became the only player in Major League history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in the same season for the 1981 World Champion Dodgers.

Other Cuban members of the Hall of Fame associated with the Dodgers include Sandy Amoros, Camilo Pascual, Zoilo Versalles, Preston Gomez, Luis Tiant and Ralph Avila. Other non-Dodgers include Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Martin Dihigo and Tony Perez.

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