The entire Minnesota Twins organization is saddened by the death of Vice President, Player Personnel Mike Radcliff, who passed away today at age 66 in Kansas City, Missouri, after a courageous three-plus year battle with cancer.
“The Minnesota Twins today mourn the loss of Mike Radcliff. Mike was the heart and soul of our scouting department for over 30 years, a man who was beloved and respected by staff, players, fellow scouts, agents and his peers alike. One of baseball’s most revered talent evaluators, his character, work ethic, kindness and sense of humor set the tone for our player development and evaluation processes. His baseball legacy lives on in the number of Twins Hall of Famers, All-Stars and great teams that bear his fingerprints, while his impact as a person will be forever felt by those that knew him. In the words of his trade, Mike was the epitome of a five-tool player, and he will be greatly missed across Twins Territory. Our deepest sympathies are with his wife Sherry, son Brett, daughter Erin and the entire Radcliff family during this difficult time.”
Over the course of his 36-year tenure with the Twins, Radcliff provided guidance, mentorship and leadership across all areas of player evaluation – major league, minor league and amateur. He also helped oversee the club’s professional, amateur and international scouts. A 1979 graduate of the University of Missouri, Radcliff began his scouting career as an area scout with the Major League Scouting Bureau in 1983 and was hired by the Twins as an area scout in 1987, before being promoted to Midwest Supervisor in 1988. He was named the Twins’ Director of Scouting in 1993, managing a staff of over 60 full- and part-time scouts.
During his time overseeing the Twins’ draft operations, Minnesota selected fan favorites and club legends including: Jacque Jones (2nd round, 1996), Twins Hall of Famer Michael Cuddyer (1st round, 1997), Twins Hall of Famer Justin Morneau (3rd round, 1999), Denard Span (1st round, 2002) and Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004). One of the most challenging and consequential decisions of Radcliff’s tenure as director came in 2001, when Minnesota held the first overall pick and used it to select Joe Mauer, 2023 Twins Hall of Fame electee and one of the best players to wear a Minnesota uniform. Radcliff was the longest-tenured scouting director in Major League Baseball at the time of his promotion to Vice President, Player Personnel in September 2007. In his new position, he also had a strong role in the selection and/or signing of players including Twins Hall of Famer Torii Hunter (1st round, 1993) and current Twins Byron Buxton (1st round, 2012), Max Kepler (international signing, 2009) and Jorge Polanco (international signing, 2009).
Radcliff was named 2011 Scout of the Year in the Midwest by his peers in Major League Baseball, was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame in July of 2014 and elected to the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Scouts Hall of Fame in September 2021. In addition, he was the 2016 recipient of the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting, given by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, and the 2021 Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award, voted on by the Diamond Awards Committee.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
(info courtesy of Twins)