Hal Keller, who played parts of three seasons for the original Washington Senators and returned as farm director of the expansion Senators during the 1960s, died following a long illness early Tuesday morning at his home in Sequim, Wash. He was 84.
Keller, a native of Middletown, Md., and a product of the University of Maryland, spent seven years as a catcher in the Senators’ organization, including a total of 25 games in the big leagues between 1949 and 1952.
After his playing career, he worked in the Senators’ organization as a minor league manager and assistant farm director, then, after the Senators moved to Minneapolis following the 1960 season, he was hired as farm director by the expansion Senators franchise, serving in that role in 1961-62 and again from 1964 to ’72, moving to Texas when the franchise relocated there in 1972.
Keller, brother of five-time all-star Charlie “King Kong” Keller, later served as general manager of the Seattle Mariners and as a scout for the California Angels, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.
He is widely credited with having introduced the radar gun to baseball scouting in the early 1970s. In 2010, he received the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.
Donations in Keller’s name can be made to the Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 E. 8th St., Port Angeles, Wash., 98362.