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Rich Pohle Sr. is a legendary baseball coach and ex-major league scout. He also has made a habit of tweaking the noses of the baseball establishment. At the age of 36, Pohle changed his identity to "Rocky Perone," a 21-year-old prospect from Australia.
When he was in his 20s, Pohle played in the Athletic organization, then left to play and coach in Australia for many years. When he returned, he was 36, but decided to give pro ball one last chance. "Perone" finagled a tryout with the Padres and they were so impressed they immediately signed him to a contract.
In his book “The Lords of Baseball,” author Harold Parrott writes “Padre experts rated Rocky as a hot prospect at shortstop.”In fact, the Padres liked Rocky Perone so much; they even had him work out with their major league team in San Diego before shipping him to their Class A affiliate in Walla Walla, Washington.
Perone was eventually unmasked, but not before he had a chance to play and star in his first professional game. Pohle’s ruse was featured prominently in a Sports Illustrated article written by Eliot Asinof.
After his article came out, Pohle decided to go into scouting and coaching. He has scouted for the Kansas City Royals (under Floyd Chandler), Los Angeles Dodgers (under Ben Wade) and the San Francisco Giants (under George Genovese).
Rich Pohle aka "Rocky Perone"