Also being recognized with the same award by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation is Tampa Bay Rays scout Larry Doughty. Ryan and Doughty will be honored in Los Angeles on Jan. 12, during the foundation's 10th annual "In The Spirit of the Game" Sports and Entertainment Spectacular at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
"I've known Larry and many of the other scouts involved for a long time," Ryan said. "I've never been to this event, but I've heard it's tremendous and for a good cause. It's an honor to be included."
Ryan, 59, has been in professional baseball since being selected in the 35th round by the Twins in the 1972 Draft. He had a four-year career as a left-handed pitcher in the Minors before an arm injury forced him to retire, and he eventually entered the scouting side of the game.
In 1980, Ryan became a scouting supervisor for the Mets before returning to the Twins in 1986 as the club's scouting director. He rose to vice president of player personnel in 1991 and became GM for the first time in 1994, a position he held for 13 seasons while overseeing four division titles.
During Ryan's tenure as scouting director, the Twins landed players like Chuck Knoblauch, Marty Cordova, Scott Erickson, Brad Radke, Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins. Knoblauch and Cordova won American League Rookie of the Year Awards and Radke and Erickson became All-Stars and 20-game winners.
Not surprisingly, the usually humble Ryan did not want to take credit.
"I just happened to be the scouting director for some of those guys," Ryan said. "We had a lot of scouts that did the work and found the good players. And I shouldn't get credit for just the good ones."
Ryan stepped down for a couple of seasons to become a special assistant to the GM and a scout for Minnesota, but he returned to the GM's chair in 2011.
The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation has helped baseball scouts in need due to job loss, illness or financial hardships over the past nine years through the proceeds from the annual "In the Spirit of the Game" Sports and Entertainment Spectacular. Dennis Gilbert heads the foundation that has raised in excess of $1 million to support scouts in need.