The endless hours in ballparks and watching baseball games and players will never be lost on Ross Vecchio.
It is his element, his passion, and one of his loves.
After more than 30 years in baseball, he continues to travel across the country in search of baseball players who might be able to help the Seattle Mariners one day.
Vecchio, soon to be 57-years-old, started his path in baseball as a dishwasher in old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
He worked his way into a security position for Phillies and Eagles games then served as an account executive for the Phillies for 10 months before getting an offer to move to Florida to serve as director of marketing/assistant general manager of the Clearwater Phillies.
Vecchio held that position from 1986 to 1990.
“I’ve been doing something in baseball since the 11th grade,” said Vecchio, who grew up in South New Jersey and graduated from Morristown Friends High School and Elizabethtown College.
“I told them I would do anything and through my uncle I met David Montgomery, who became the Phillies president. That’s where it all started.”
Vecchio’s travels have taken him all over the country and into many positions.
He currently is Independent League Scouting Director for the Seattle Mariners – a position he has held for nearly 11 months.
Vecchio has worked for the Mariners since 2009, when he started as an amateur/professional scout, covering the greater Pittsburgh area, West Virginia and eastern Ohio.
In November 2015, he became area scout, again covering the greater Pittsburgh area and serving as Mid-Atlantic Regional Scouting Supervisor covering high school and college players in six states.
“When I was young, I would sit with scouts and just listen,” Vecchio said. “I watched and learned. I have had a love of scouting and player development a long time. I was engrossed with numbers and the amateur draft. I studied it and all the players.”
Before Vecchio went to work for the Mariners, he was a cornerstone of local baseball success as general manager of the Washington Wild Things.
He was hired to lead the Washington franchise in the Independent Frontier League after spending one year with the Jupiter Hammerheads, which went bankrupt.
Vecchio needed a job and he heard about the opportunity in Washington.
He interviewed with John Swiatek and was offered the general manager job and brought his enthusiasm and expertise to the Wild Things.
By the end of his tenure in Washington, Vecchio had forged a reputation of success, organization and baseball savvy.
At the time, Steve Tahsler – deputy commissioner of the Frontier League – said: “Ross has done an outstanding job taking the Washington Wild Things from a start-up team in 2002 to one of the most respected clubs in minor league baseball.
“(Under Vecchio) the Wild Things are continually applauded for their innovative marketing programs and have cultivated a fan base that is the envy of the Frontier League,” Tahsler said.
The Wild Things enjoyed great success during Vecchio’s tenure as GM.
In its inaugural season, Washington won 56 games and the East Division championship. The Wild Things won five division title through 2007 and were a top organization throughout minor-league baseball.
Vecchio said it was one of the best times of his life.
“It was an awesome time and experience,” Vecchio said. “We went to the playoffs six straight seasons. We had great managers, did tremendous at the gate and in the community. I am so proud of what we accomplished there.
“We had a great team of front office people and we worked together really well. It was a lot of fun. Some of my fondest memories are of my time with the Wild Things.”
After a little more than eight years with the Wild Things, Vecchio said he needed a change.
“I just felt it was time,” Vecchio said. “It was time to do something different.”
Vecchio became director of athletic development at California University. He remained in that post for a little more than four years before diving into scouting full-time with the Mariners.
“Dr. (Angelo) Armenti was leaving and I had been doing some stuff for Seattle any way,” Vecchio said. “I always loved baseball, so it was the right thing for me.”