Dodgers scout King, 87, passes away

LOS ANGELES -- Longtime scout Ron King, who signed former Dodgers National League Rookie of the Year Award winner Steve Sax, died Monday in Sacramento, Calif., after an extended illness. He was 87.

"He was like a second father to me," Sax told the Sacramento Bee. "He was a tutor to a lot of players, an unbelievable man. He would work all of us out tirelessly to make sure we did things right. He knew just about everything in baseball.

"He wasn't boastful, but [he] could always give you that special input. Between seasons, I'd come back home to meet with him. If it wasn't for Ronnie, I probably would have never made it to the Major Leagues."

A Minor League player and coach, King turned to scouting for the Pirates, and he joined the Dodgers in 1974. In addition to Sax, he signed future Dodgers R.J. Reynolds and Rudy Law. In 1997 King was named West Coast Scout of the Year by MLB.

A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. PT Sunday at Klumpp's Funeral Home in Sacramento, with a mass at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Carmichael, Calif.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.