Hall of Fame starting pitcher, Pedro Martinez, had perhaps the best pitching span in professional baseball history with the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox where he won 3 Cy Young awards and finished in 2nd place once over a four-year span between 1997-2000. However, Pedro Martinez's career did not start with the Montreal Expos, or the Boston Red Sox. He was not eligible to be drafted.
Instead, Pedro Martinez's career began as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, when the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Pedro Martinez as a 16-year-old international prospect out of the Dominican Republic on June 18, 1988.
The man behind this signing, as well as many more international signings for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was legendary scout Ralph Avila.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today on Twitter that former influential scout and Los Angeles Dodgers executive, Ralph Avila, passed away at his home today at 92 years of age.
Ralph Avila helped set up the Los Angeles Dodgers' connection to Latin America, setting up the year-round training facility in the Dominican Republic, known as Campo Las Palmas.
Campo Las Palmas opened in 1987 and Avila served as the regional coordinator, director, and eventually became the vice president. He remained working as an advisor until 2021.
He was also instrumental in creating the Dominican Summer League, working closely with Epy Guerrero on these projects.
Amongst his accomplishments, he was named the 2006 International Scout of the Year in Major League Baseball.
His son, Al Avila, served as the general manager for the Detroit Tigers from 2015-2022.
Ralph Avila's grandson, Alex Avila, was a baseball catcher that played 13 years in the MLB before his retirement. Alex Avila also made it to an all-star game during his career.
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