Kimball Crossley has a hard time remembering all the state capitals.

Improv! We all know what that is. It's everywhere, like Improv Everywhere. Most medium-sized cities have improv theater, even Providence. ImProvidence! (May not be an actual troupe.)

I am not sure there's currently improv theater in Providence. But ten years ago, there was! And a lot of people I know really enjoyed it and so I wound up attending a few performances.

I did not care much for it. I concluded that I did not like improv but maybe the Providence group just wasn't that good.

In 2003 I went to Fenway a lot. I did that in 2004 also. And a few games in 2002. In 2005 I went to a lot of Red Sox games. 2002 was the year I first went to Fenway, though. At that time, you could be dialed in to the internet and your sister would message you in this little box (that chime!) and ask if you felt like going to a game and you just went to the website and bought tickets.

For one game in particular, my two sisters and I got to Boston early so we went out for beer before the game. Me being me, I kind of overdid it. We were at the park and Vee said, "See that guy over there? That is Kimball and I know this because he does improv in Providence and I like that guy." Essentially she said that.

I think this was a day game and I remember we had box seats up front but Kimball's were better. For some reason I thought it would be funny to shout his name out. "Kimball!" I kept yelling until I was angrily shushed by my own kin. Kimball looked around a few times and then the game started. Boy, was I nauseated on the ride home!

Recently I search-engined this guy and he is a Blue Jays scout. I was surprised to learn that his name is not Something Kimball, but instead it is Kimball Something. And not even that (Anthony)! So because in many ways Kimball is my brother, I am going to explore his story. It's part of a series I like to call THIS RHODE ISLAND LIFE. (By the way, missed nickname opportunity: KimBaller!)

two things:
1. KC grew up in NYC, went to UNC, worked at the Providence newspaper where he was nowhere near as good as McAdam but hung out with scouts. This great article from 2005 explains everything.

2. "Professional scouts are the undercover cops of the scouting world, we know they are out there, we know they contribute to the success of our favourite team, but we don’t know who they are or what they do. If you go to games at minor league parks you can find the scouts behind home plate, busily managing their radar guns and their notebooks, but most of us have never talked to them." From the above article, written by Gerry McDonald.

3. “Scouts can get frustrated when they think the club doesn’t listen to their reports but its part of the business. I remember one time talking to Theo Epstein who said he couldn’t tell me how many times he had felt the same way. I had to tell him it was hard to sympathize with someone who went from scoreboard operator to GM in about four years.” Seriously Theo, go put on your wool cap and jam with Mookie Blaylock. Yeah, you're not a complete jackass. (same McDonald story)

4.  "Blue Jays professional scout Kimball Crossley... spoke of the importance of finding a balance between what the numbers show and what your eyes see. Crossley described the unique path he took to his current job, starting as a baseball writer for an afternoon paper, and taking advantage of his daily contact with players, scouts, and coaches to learn what he needed to see to understand the game and identify the players who could cut it at the highest level." - from 2012

5. Wookin pa nub?


7. Reasonably handsome in spite of his freakishly huge thumb.

8. Battle of the Sexes: A playlet? Crossley as writer? Warwick?

9. It appears that in the off-season, KC still works as an actor. Here's a review of Six Degrees of Separation, as performed by the Epic Theater Company earlier this year.

10. Maybe Kimball coached high school basketball?

There you have it! I was going to say "Looks like Toronto will let just anyone be a scout" but I would never be that impolite. I know people are only going to be excited to talk to me because of this Kimball post. But they talk to me for a while, and maybe people realize I have something to say.. And then one day... We're just talking.

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