George Genovese, a minor league shortstop and manager who became a scout for the San Francisco Giants and signed such future standouts as Bobby Bonds, George Foster and Gary Matthews, has died. He was 93.
He died Sunday of a blood infection at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, near his longtime home in North Hollywood, his daughter Kathleen Haworth said Monday.
"He had been in really good health," she said. "That's why we're all in shock."
Genovese had managed in the minors for a decade when the Giants assigned him to scout. He spent 30 years with the team, signing some 40 players who made the major leagues, including Jack Clark, Chili Davis, Dave Kingman, Matt Williams, Royce Clayton and Randy Moffitt, the brother of tennis star Billie Jean King.
In his autobiography "A Scout's Report: My 70 Years in Baseball," published earlier this year, Genovese wrote that the Giants played two games in 1973 in which he had signed seven of the nine players on the field for San Francisco. The Giants let him go in 1994 and he was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Genovese had been looking forward to appearing at several upcoming book signings, his daughter said. Former Phillies and Dodgers catcher Mike Lieberthal, a close friend of Genovese, visited with him in the hospital hours before his death, she said.
Born Feb. 22, 1922, in Staten Island, New York, Genovese played 12 seasons in the minors with his career interrupted by military service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He injured his right throwing shoulder in a fall during an air raid and was offered a Purple Heart, but he declined, believing those who sustained combat injuries were more deserving, his daughter said.
Genovese got one at-bat in the major leagues, with the 1950 Washington Senators.
"He knew from the time he was eight or nine that baseball was his destiny," his daughter said.
In 2003, the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation named its lifetime achievement award in honor of Genovese. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the foundation.
Genovese was preceded in death by his wife June. He is survived by daughter Kathleen Haworth, son-in-law David Haworth and two granddaughters.