Ty Nichols tried to explain to Oklahoma TV station KOTV 6 how he went about his job.
Nichols' job then was as an area scout for the Toronto Blue Jays and on this summer day in 2009, he was scouting a recent Blue Jays draft pick at a high school summer league game.
"You're watching them run, throw, catch, field and hit - all the tools," Nichols told KOTV of what he was looking for. "If those start to add up and they show major league tools, you start paying more attention. You give all the kids an opportunity."
Nichols then was continuing a career in baseball that stretched back to 1984. He was also continuing a life in baseball that stretched back much further, to his father, a former minor league player and manager himself.
Nichols' pro career began with his selection by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 1984 draft out of Dodge City High School in Kansas.
Nichols grew up the son of Lance Nichols, who played seven seasons in the 1960s in the Dodgers' organization and later managed in the minors with the Expos and Orioles. The year before his son was drafted by Baltimore, the father managed at AAA Rochester.
With the Orioles, Ty Nichols started at rookie Bluefield, hitting .207 in 63 games. For 1985, he played at single-A Daytona Beach and at short-season Newark. Between them, he hit just .188, knocking in 33.
For 1986, he played the year at single-A Hagerstown, getting into 110 games and having perhaps his best season. He hit .271, knocking in 58.
He got his first look at AA in 1987, at Charlotte. In 60 games, he hit just .188. He knocked in 16, including one in an April game.
Nichols returned to AA Charlotte for all of 1988, getting into 128 games, but hitting just .201. Nichols moved for 1989 with the Orioles AA squad to Hagerstown. There, he hit .210.
That year at Hagerstown was his final year in pro ball. He returned to Hagerstown the next summer, long enough to get into that year's team set, but he isn't credited as playing a game. Nichols then went on to his career as a scout.
- Newson6.com, KOTV, July 2, 2009: Scouting For The Next Major Leaguer