Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager
Chuck LaMar begins his eighth season as the Devil Rays´ senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager.
Throughout his career, which he began as a scouting supervisor for the Cincinnati Reds in 1985, LaMar always has placed heavy emphasis on scouting and player development. That fact never has been more evident than now, as the Rays minor league system recently was called one of the deepest in the American League by Baseball America a view shared by many others in and around the game.
LaMar has assembled an experienced and respected baseball operations staff and has led it through six amateur drafts in addition to the expansion draft.The fruits of that labor include Josh Hamilton, the USA Today 2000 Minor League Player of the Year; International League MVP Toby Hall; 2001 first-round pick Dewon Brazelton, one of the top amateur players in the nation in 2001;World Cup standout Carl Crawford; and left-handed pitcher Joe Kennedy, the Rays´ eighth-round pick in the 1998 draft and one of the top rookies in the AL last season.
LaMar´s trades have brought youthful prospects, including right-handed pitcher Jesus Colome, a flame-throwing right-hander who held opposing batters to a .208 average in 2001, fourth among American League rookies; left-handed pitcher Nick Bierbrodt, who went 3-1 in six starts at Tropicana Field last season as a rookie; 1998 first-round draft pick Jason Tyner, Rays club leader with 31 stolen bases last season; and second baseman Brent Abernathy, whose .270 batting average was third among AL rookies in 2001.
As testament to his scouting acumen, LaMar served on USA Baseball´s selection committee for the 1999 Pan Am Games,the selection committee for the 2000 United States Olympic goldmedal team, and the advisory committee for the 2000 Major League Futures All-Star Game.
Chuck has been a leader in the community as well.The Chuck LaMar Mercury Marine Grand Slam Celebrity Fishing Tournament, contested the past four Novembers in the waters off St.Petersburg,has raised more than $500,000 for the Tampa-based Pediatric Cancer Foundation. LaMar has been involved in a number of other local charities, including the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, Clearwater for Youth and the Suncoast Children´s Dream Fund.
LaMar came to the Rays shortly after the franchise´s founding in 1995, following five years in Atlanta as director of scouting and player development and then assistant general manager for player personnel.With the Braves, LaMar helped oversee a minor league system that national publications repeatedly ranked No. 1, and he helped implement baseball´s first minority intern program in the areas of scouting and player development. With Tampa Bay in 1996, he established the Career Initiative Program, which promotes diversity by exposing members of minority groups to the player development, scouting and conditioning aspects of baseball.
LaMar started his major league career in 1985 as a scouting supervisor with the Reds, helping build a world champion as he later did with the Braves. He directed Pittsburgh´s minor league operations in 1989 and 1990, and the Pirates won their last three division crowns in 1990-92.
The native of Twin Falls, Idaho, captained three sports at Madison High School in Houston, Texas. He was baseball captain at Texas Christian, leading TCU in Southwest Conference hitting in 1977, graduating in ´78. He taught and coached at St.Thomas High in Houston, then served as an assistant coach at Indiana and head coach at Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Belton,Texas.
Three members of Chuck´s family played minor league ball: grandfather Charles Hart LaMar, father Charles William LaMar, and younger brother Danny, a first-round draft choice of the Reds in 1979. Chuck, wife Cheryl and Sarah (19), Emily (17) and Charlie (9) reside in Clearwater.
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