Though standing only five-feet-five and weighing only 112 pounds, Lou Maguolo was an outstanding outfielder in high school and college. From 1921 to 1923, Maguolo played for Washington University in St. Louis and was named to the all-Missouri Valley Conference team each year. Maguolo scouted full-time for the St. Louis Browns from 1936 to 1942.
In 1942, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army and served on active duty as a major during World War II. Following his discharge from military service, he began scouting for the New York Yankees in 1947 and would remain as a prominent Yankee scout until 1975.
He is credited with signing more than 40 players who went on to play in the major leagues, including pitchers Al LaMacchia (the inspiration for this book) and Zach Monroe; outfielders Roy Sievers, Whitey Herzog and Norm Siebern; infielders Jerry Lumpe, Tony Kubek and Bill Skowron; and catcher Elston Howard.