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Sports

Two prominent Major League Baseball scouts with combined tenures of over 100 years passed away in 2020. Both Fred Uhlman and George Zuraw were Charleroi High School graduates within a year of each other in the late 1940s. In 2002, Uhlman was recognized as the Scout of the Year by Major League Baseball while seven years earlier in 1995 Charleroi High baseball teammate Zuraw won the same scouting distinction. Both epitomized the importance of baseball in Charleroi especially in the 1940s.

 

Uhlman
Fred Uhlman, Sr.

Uhlman, who passed away on September 1, 2020, is best known for establishing the Orioles’ first baseball academies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. He was also responsible for signing Jeff Ballard, Steve Finley, Gregg Olson, Arthur Rhodes, and David Segui, among many others who have worn the Orioles uniform. Uhlman was signed out of high school by the Pirates as a left-handed pitcher where he spent five years (1949-51; 54-55) in the minor leagues appearing in 115 games. As a Pirate scout he signed pitcher Bobby Moose. Uhlman was inducted into the Mon Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Zuraw, who passed away on April 23, 2020, spent 20 years with the Big Red Machine from 1968 to 1988 where he garnered the title “super scout” signing players like Ray Knight, Jeff Treadway, Joe Oliver, Lenny Harris, Rob Murphy, Nick Esasky and Terry McGriff among others. Zuraw saw 27 players he signed either play or manage in the major leagues. In 1989 he became assistant vice president of baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners. Zuraw, like Uhlman, was signed out of high school by the Pirates as a first-basemen with a good bat and spent four seasons (1949-51;1954) in the minor’s participating in 133 games. Zuraw was inducted into the Mon Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Their Charleroi baseball days will be recounted in the soon to be published Charleroi Baseball History by the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame.

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