It was only natural Kansas native John Keenan would become a baseball scout, a position he held with the Dodgers between 1962 and 1998. His grandfather, Bert Wells, was a Dodger scout from 1940-79, and Keenan’s son Mike would become a Midwest crosschecker with the Cincinnati Reds.
Keenan was hired as a part-time scout by Al Campanis, who was then the franchise’s scouting director. He became a full-time scout in 1963, serving first as an area scout in the Midwest. Keenan spent his final 13 years in the organization as the Midwest supervisor or national crosschecker.
Among the players signed by Keenan are Don Sutton, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Rick Sutcliffe and Mickey Hatcher. Keenan also signed outfielder Mitch Webster, who as a scout in 2008 represented the Dodgers when Keenan was inducted into the Greater Midwest Professional Baseball Scouts Association Hall of Fame.
“John signed me, and has known me since I was a kid,” Webster said. “He has been a great mentor for me as a scout and as a player. All those hard times as a minor leaguer, you’re looking to stay alive, and John was always there to add encouragement.”
The funeral service for Keenan, who died Thursday, will be held Monday in Great Bend, Kansas.