Hopkins is first female baseball scout in more than 50 years

Amanda Hopkins (AP)
Updated 18 August 2017
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Hopkins is first female baseball scout in more than 50 years

SEATTLE: Nearly two years ago, Amanda Hopkins’ phone rang. It was a call she dreamt of receiving, one that broke barriers and made her a part of baseball history.
Almost immediately, her competitiveness took over.
“She put a sign up on her bedroom door saying, ‘Stay out, we’re opponents,’” recalled her father, Ron Hopkins, a special assistant to the general manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates. “In other words, my bedroom is off limits to you, there is info in here. I got a kick out of it.”
The 24-year-old Hopkins is now about to complete her second year as an area scout for the Seattle Mariners. Her responsibility is the Four Corners area of the Southwest, taking her to destinations like Greely, Colorado, and Hobbs, New Mexico, two of the more challenging places to get to from her base in the Phoenix area.
She is also the first full-time female baseball scout in more than 50 years, breaking through a barrier that required diligence on her end and willingness by the Mariners organization.
Yet, Hopkins does not view herself through that prism or want to be viewed as a trailblazer. She’s a scout. That’s it.
“I think if anything people are more shocked sometimes when I will go meet with a player in the office or something like that. Maybe they just know, hey the Mariners’ scout is coming in to meet with you today and they walk in and they’re like, ‘Oh.’ That kind of thing,” Hopkins said. “It’s usually more of like a shocked look. But then they’re more curious, they’re like, ‘How’d you get into this?’ And they kind of like want a brief rundown of how I got to where I am. All the players, all the coaches, are incredibly respectful to me.”
While she is believed to be the first full-time baseball scout since Edith Houghton in the middle of the 20th century, Hopkins has been around baseball since she was a child.
She traveled with her father to games, regularly making trips to the Alaskan Summer League or the Cape Cod League in summers. She would run the radar gun and pass along the speeds to her dad when she was as young as 8. It was obvious early on she possessed the same critical eye as her dad.
“She learned at an early age the difference between a curveball and a slider. As she got older it just sort of grew on her,” Ron said.
“I’d go out with my dad and they’d be like ‘Oh what do you want to do when you grow up?’ And I’d tell them, ‘I want to be a baseball scout,’” Amanda said. “It’s like this little girl telling them that and it’s like, ‘Oh that’s cute. She wants to be like her dad.’ But really, I think it was kind of like she’ll grow out of it. That’s kind of what everyone thought.”
Instead, her passion for the job only grew. She majored in psychology while playing softball at Central Washington University, yet that failed to satisfy the desire to be around baseball.
“The whole time I was in there I wanted to be a baseball scout,” Hopkins said. “And I remember probably my freshman year, sophomore year, I was like I really don’t want to do anything but that. So why am I trying to almost talk myself out of it and find a different path?“
Hopkins served as an intern in Seattle’s baseball operations department in the summer of 2014, but worked mostly with amateur scouting. A year later, she was sponsored by the Mariners to attend scout school and about a month after returning she got the offer.
“I was a little nervous myself because I knew she was going to be breaking a little bit of a barrier and she was pretty young,” said Tom McNamara, who hired Hopkins and is currently a special assistant to the general manager with the Mariners. “I went into Jerry (Dipoto’s) office and I had a lump in my throat and I said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ And he was all for it. He didn’t even hesitate.”
When she was hired in December 2015, Hopkins was reluctant to talk about her place in baseball history. She wanted more experience as a professional before speaking about a career that was just getting started.
“She was down in Arizona in the beginning and I would check on her and finally she said, ‘Tom, I’m OK. You don’t need to check on me every other day,’” McNamara recalled.
Hopkins was part of a panel earlier this week about women in baseball organized by the Mariners. She is starting to get comfortable with the history she has made. But she doesn’t want that to be her entire story in baseball.
“I have so much to learn still. This is such a profession that takes so many years to fully understand and you’re continually learning,” Hopkins said. “My dad, 40 years into scouting, is still learning something every time he goes to the park. So I definitely think that I just want to be the best area scout I can be right now. But I love the scouting aspect of it. I really think that I want to stay in the scouting side of the game.”


Green triple-double fuels Warriors’ comeback win

Updated 19 May 2019
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Green triple-double fuels Warriors’ comeback win

  • The Golden State Warriors rallied for a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland
  • The two-time defending champion Warriors trailed by as many as 18 in the second quarter

LOS ANGELES: Draymond Green exploded for a seventh career playoff triple-double Saturday as the Golden State Warriors rallied for a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland and a 3-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference finals.
The two-time defending champion Warriors trailed by as many as 18 in the second quarter, but with Green driving them they produced another dominant third period to seize control of the contest and the series.
No team has come back from an 0-3 deficit to win an NBA playoff series. The Trail Blazers will try to fend off elimination when they host game four on Monday.
Green scored 20 points with 13 rebounds and 12 assists, keeping the Warriors afloat in the first half before superstar Stephen Curry came alive with 21 of his 36 points after the interval.
“There aren’t many guys in the game that can (affect both ends of the floor),” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Green beforehand. “Draymond can do both.”
His intensity was on display on both ends of the court, and on the sidelines as he exhorted teammates to keep pushing.
Klay Thompson added 19 points for the Warriors, who were again without injured star Kevin Durant.
“All my teammates, my coaches have been telling me, ‘Draymond, get to the hole, be aggressive,’” Green said of his mindset.
“We’ve got guys out there, Steph, Klay and those guys who draw a lot of attention, so it’s on me to do my job and come through for those guys.”
CJ McCollum led Portland with 23 points. Damian Lillard, relentlessly double-teamed by the Warriors, added 19 points.
Center Meyers Leonard, making just his third start of the season, finished with 16 points.
Leonard made the most of his opportunity early, connecting on five of seven shots from the field in the first half on the way to 13 points.
The Trail Blazers, energized in front of a rowdy home crowd at the Moda Center, quickly built a 10-point lead before the Warriors trimmed it to two — 29-27 — at the end of the first quarter.
But the Blazers kept the pressure on, stretching the lead to 18 in the second quarter.
A steal by Lillard produced a thunderous dunk from Leonard, then Portland’s Seth Curry stole the ball from his superstar brother Stephen and raced for a three-pointer that made it 60-42 with 2:28 remaining in the first half.
Portland took a 66-53 lead into the locker room, but the Warriors responded with a monster third quarter, using a 22-6 scoring run to take their first lead of the game, 77-76 on a layup by Kevin Looney — assisted by Green.
Golden State out-scored Portland 29-13 in the quarter to lead by three heading into the final frame.
The Warriors pushed the lead to 11 with 4:51 remaining and the Trail Blazers wouldn’t get the deficit below eight from there.