By STEVE KRAH
Brian Parker is getting a World Series ring.
“I’m looking forward to that,” says Parker. “I’ve been in baseball over 20 years.”
The graduate of Morristown (Ind.) Junior-Senior High School (1994) and Indiana State University (1998) is an international scouting crosschecker for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a franchise which raised Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Trophy in 2020.
Parker, 44, is heading into his fifth year with the Dodgers in 2021. While his travel outside the U.S. has been curtailed this year because of COVID-19 (just two trips since March), he has been to Latin America many times and to Asia in search of baseball talent.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Parker has been able to travel to Miami in recent months to evaluate international players.
His priority leading up to spring training will be getting ready for the signing of the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft class in January. During a normal year, that would have been done on July 2 following the June draft. Once players are signed most will be assigned to the Dominican Summer League.
“We’re safely trying to get our jobs done,” says Parker, who counts Dodgers international scouting executive Ismael Cruz as his boss. Parker was with the Toronto Blue Jays when he first worked with Cruz.
With Alex Anthopoulos as general manager and Dana Brown as special assistant to the GM for the Blue Jays, Parker first worked in pro scouting and dealt with arbitration cases and was later promoted to the head of amateur scouting and oversaw Toronto’s participation in the MLB Draft.
Brown hired Parker as assistant scouting director for the Montreal Expos. For that position, he moved to Montreal in his second year (2004; the franchise’s last in Canada before becoming the Washington Nationals).
Parker worked primarily in amateur scouting and draft preparation while also helping on the pro scouting side.
“Dana Brown is one guy I give a lot of credit to for help me along the way as a mentor,” says Parker. “A lot of what I’ve been able to do is because of him.”
Brown is now vice president of scouting for the Atlanta Braves, where Anthopoulos is now president of baseball operations and general manager.
Parker was with the Expos/Nationals for seven years. When the team moved to D.C., Parker went there. His last two years he was director of baseball operations, dealing with administrative matters such as contracts and transactions.
His Expos tenure began in player development development operations at the spring training complex in Melbourne, Fla.
“I did a little bit of everything on the minor league side with player development,” says Parker.
Prior to that, Parker was employed by MLB. He was assistant director of baseball operations for the Arizona Fall League for one year and the AFL’s director of baseball ops the second year.
He worked with all 30 MLB teams and had a hand in many things including dealing with umpires and AFL host stadiums. He also got to see the game’s top prospects on display.
Parker helped in the sports information department at ISU — working extensively with Rob Ervin and Jennifer Little — and earned a Business Management degree from the Terre Haute school in 1998.
“I wanted to work in sports,” says Parker. “I knew that a business background would help.”
Parker was born in Michigan and moved to Morristown around 4. Since he was a youngster and playing basketball and some youth baseball in Shelby County, Ind., the oldest son of Richard and Linda Parker (now retired teachers) and older brother of Jason Parker (who nows lives outside Indianapolis) has been interested in the behind-the-scenes side of sports.
The summer of graduating from high school (1994), Parker joined the grounds crew for the Indianapolis Indians and was with the Triple-A team in that role in 1994 and 1995 and was an intern in 1996 as the Indians moved from Bush Stadium to Victory Field.
Parker’s first experience in baseball scouting came during an internship with the Colorado Rockies during the summer of 1997. He entered scouting reports, went through the draft, got to hear other scouts talk about baseball under Rockies general manager Bob Gebhard and also helped with the media relations staff in the press box.
“It was a great every level position,” says Parker.
After going back to ISU to earn his degree Parker saw there was a regime change in the Rockies front office.
Parker spent three years — one as an intern and two as a full-time employee in media relations with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.
After that, he got back into baseball with the Arizona Fall League.
Parker has had a guiding principle throughout his career.
“It’s so important to work with good people and do the best job you can,” says Parker. “Do a good job and let things fall where they may after that. You’re not necessarily looking for your next job.”
Brian and wife Bree, who met while working with the Nationals, are the parents of twin girls. Bree Parker works in human resources with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.