If you happened to be calling VP, Scouting for the Boston Red Sox, Mike Rikard, it might be fitting if he waited three rings to answer.
One for each World Series he’s helped them win, of course.
“Rik” has established himself as one of the most well-respected voices in the Red Sox front office, a mainstay with them since 2005 after first joining the San Diego Padres in 2000 as an area scout to start his career in professional baseball.
Prior to that, he’d still maintained a rich family tradition in the game; his father, Bob Rikard, served as a minor league catcher in eight different organizations over 11 seasons between 1952-64, while his uncle, Culley Rikard, played for the Pittsburgh Pirates as an outfielder for three seasons during the 1940’s, facing the likes of Jonnny Sain, Dutch Leonard, Ralph Branca and many of the other top pitchers of that era.
Mike Rikard played college baseball at UNC-Greensboro before heading to Wake Forest as an assistant coach for six years, followed by another season at Elon. He also managed in the prestigious Cape Cod League for several seasons before leaving for the pro ranks, where he made a quick impact wherever he’s been.
With Boston, Rikard steadily climbed up the ranks; he began as the East Coast crosschecker, was eventually promoted to national crosschecker, and then director of amateur scouting before ascending to his current role prior to the 2020 season. A World Series-winner in 2007, 2013 and 2018, he’s been an incredible asset not only to the Red Sox organization, but to the advisory board of the New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series as well.
“Mike Rikard has been a standard of excellence in one of the most demanding markets for almost two decades,” said Future Stars Series president and CEO, Jeremy Booth.
“He’s been instrumental in the drafting of players who have won championships both in Boston and elsewhere, as well as the selection and development of players who have signed some of the biggest contracts in baseball history. As good as the baseball is with Rik, as a person the relationship means far more and he is truly someone who is in it for the game and the players. He’s impacted lives and the game permanently on ways that will pay it forward for decades.”
Rikard helped identify Mookie Betts very early on — he was ultimately signed by area scout Danny Watkins — and, both as national crosschecker and director amateur scouting, oversaw the selections and signings of countless other players who both helped the Red Sox win those World Series and are current parts of the core group that will lead them in the future; Anthony Rizzo, Josh Reddick, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Christian Vazquez, Michael Kopech, Andrew Benitendi, Bobby Dalbec, Tanner Houck, Jarren Duran and Triston Casas to name just a few.
Notably, like Betts, who incredibly didn’t go until the fifth round in 2011, Rikard has been able to identify incredible value in the Draft as Reddick lasted until the 17th round in 2006, Rizzo went in the sixth round a year later, and Vazquez in the ninth round in 2008.
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