Former Rangers executive Keller dies

Former Rangers executive Keller dies

Published Jun. 5, 2012 5:19 p.m. ET

OAKLAND, Calif. – Hal Keller, the man responsible for providing oohs and aahs to major league ballparks across the country, has died.

Keller spent 16 years running the player development operation for the Washington and then Texas organizations, but his better known for introducing the radar gun to the major leagues.

Keller, who was 84, did it while he was working in Texas at the suggestion of former major league outfielder Danny Litwhiler, who also coached the Michigan State baseball team. Litwhiler helped develop radar guns for clocking pitches.

Keller was the director of player development for the Washington Sentators from 1961-62 and from 1965-71. He moved with the franchise to Texas and was with the organization when Jeff Burroughs, Mike Hargrove, Toby Harrah and Jim Sundberg.

"Hal Keller signed me to my first contract in 1966 when I was 18 years old," said Rangers color commentator Tom Grieve. "He was one of the most respected talent evaluators in the game but more importantly was one of the most well-liked individuals in baseball. Along with many others, I will miss a great friend, and my thoughts are with his wife Carol and his entire family."

Keller, whose brother Charlie played for the New York Yankees, also worked as the general manager for Seattle in 1984-85. He also scouted for the California Angels, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.