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Baseball’s first woman scout dies at 100

Feb 11, 2013, 9:28 AM EDT

Edith Houghton

There are a lot of “boys clubs” in baseball. The players. The media. Management. If you had to come up with a prototypical old boys club, though, you could do worse than naming scouts. Thanks to popular culture and various anecdotes it’s almost impossible for the first image that pops in your head when you hear the words “baseball scout” NOT to be an old guy. Maybe a grouchy one like Clint Eastwood.

But¬†Edith Houghton cracked that boys club. Not last year or in the 1970s or something. She did it in 1946, holding the job until she left to go fight in the Korean freakin’ War. She severed in the Navy during World War II as well. Before that she played baseball on a number of industrial and semi-pro teams.

Edith Houghton: tougher and more accomplished than most of us put together.

Sadly, she died earlier this month at age 100. The beginnings of her story can be read here. ¬†Some more in depth information can be found here. There’s probably a much longer story to be told as well.


  1. Jason Lukehart - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Her’s is a very cool story that I’m surprised I’d never heard a word of until her passing. A very full and accomplished life.

    • Old Gator - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      A great life indeed, and at least as worthy of a film, or at the very least a well written biography, as the stalwarts of the Women’s Baseball League.

    • Jason Lukehart - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Also, that should read “hers is a life…”

      Where are we at on that edit function?

      • 1twinsfan - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        Don’t fret. The article says she “severed in the Navy…”

      • Jason Lukehart - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        She might have!

  2. tycobb420 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    It’s unfortunate that it takes Ms. Houghton’s passing for me to become aware of her. What a fighter she must have been do accomplish all she did, when she did.

  3. stex52 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Don’t say “Sadly, she died….” She was a tough and accomplished woman. She died at 100. Good for her. We all die, most having done less. My only regret at all would be that she was not more celebrated and recognized. But I doubt she cared very much about that.

    Thanks for telling us, though, Craig.

    • Old Gator - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Amen. But sadly or not, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for historical women in baseball.

  4. indaburg - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Not to diminish Ms. Houston’s accomplishments–she sounds like one kick-ass woman–but Bessie Largent was actually the first paid female scout in baseball. She worked for the Chicago White Sox for over two decades, beginning in the 1920s.

    • indaburg - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      *Ms. Houghton. (Edit function, pretty please?)

  5. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Get to casting someone to play her in a movie. This is a great story.

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