Million Dollar Arm: Looking back on the Boston Red Sox presence in Asia

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Aug 27, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Duquette, the Red Sox GM at the time of Nomo’s ascent, believed South Korea held the talent. Duquette signed on Ray Poitevint as Boston’s Executive Director of International Baseball Operations — you might recognize Poitevint as the scout portrayed by Alan Arkin in Million Dollar Arm.  While Poitevint had experienced a great deal of success in Central America and was a trail blazer in Asia, the arrangement didn’t exactly pan out for the Red Sox. Duquette routinely doled out signing bonuses of three-quarters of a million dollars or more for Korean talent that never made it out of the Red Sox system. Remember top prospect Seung Song? I thought so.

However, the organization under Duquette did bring a number of Asian-born players to the Major League level within a few years of Nomo’s debut, a feat in itself for an organization historically slow to adapt and not well-regarded for its diversity.