Right then and there I couldn’t believe it, and everything
had come full circle. All the work I put in and all of the
support I had from everybody — it finally paid off.
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire takes the ball from his pitcher’s hand. The rookie, in
his first career start, had limited the Cleveland Indians to four runs before making his departure
with one out in the seventh inning.
“You did a heck of a job, enjoy this,” Gardy tells him. “These people are going to be cheering for
you when you walk off. You’ll never forget this moment.”
As he walks toward the dugout, 38,491 fans at Target Field offer their applause as he tips his
“Unbelievable,” he would say after the game. “It’s what every kid dreams of.”
The Binghamton University baseball team got its first good look at Scott Diamond in 2005.
A native of Guelph, Ontario, the left-hander was widely considered one of Canada’s top high
school prospects, and it didn’t take long for head coach Tim Sinicki to see why.
As a freshman, the lefty was named America East Rookie of the Year after posting a 4-2 record
and 2.85 ERA in conference play. He tossed four complete games that season, and at one point
pitched a stretch of 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
Diamond only improved as a sophomore, and by the time he’d reached his junior season the
southpaw was garnering the attention of Major League clubs.
On March 3, 2007, scouts came out in numbers to see Diamond on the hill as the Bearcats
opened the season against Norfolk State University. Though cold weather may have played a
role, BU’s ace struggled, allowing five runs on 10 hits in only four innings of work.
“[The scouts] started to talk: ‘Is he hurt?'” Sinicki says. “We just tried to put their mind at ease
and tell them that ‘he’s not hurt, you saw him the first outing of the year and he’s on a pitch
Diamond went on to another quality season, and delivered for Binghamton down the stretch,
but many scouts had turned their heads after he struggled early on. In an elimination game at the
America East tournament, he tossed a complete game to keep BU’s season alive, but what would
prove to be his final collegiate start went highly unnoticed.
“We begged, begged pro scouts to come back later in the year, and not many did,” Sinicki
says. “He had some of his best outings at the end of the year, but then went undrafted.”
A total of 1,453 players were selected in Major League Baseball’s 2007 draft. Scott Diamond
wasn’t one of them.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
As an undrafted free agent, Diamond left BU and signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta
Braves in August 2007, reporting to the team’s Class-A affiliate in March. Three years later, he
was pitching in Triple-A.
In December 2010, the Minnesota Twins announced that they had selected Diamond in the
league’s annual Rule 5 draft. As a Rule 5 pick, Diamond would be granted a spot on the Twins’
25-man roster, or they would be required to offer him back to Atlanta.
To avoid both, Minnesota would have to offer Atlanta a trade, and at the end of spring training,
hard-throwing prospect Billy Bullock was sent to the Braves and the Twins optioned Diamond to
“We liked him, that’s why we took him from Atlanta,” Gardenhire says. “We liked the arm. Our
people in the minor leagues had faced him and watched him; we kind of look at him like [Tom]
Glavine — he’s got that same windup and same deception.”
Diamond would open the 2011 season in Triple-A, but in mid-July, as the Twins struggled with
injuries and an upcoming doubleheader, the decision was made to call him up to make a start
against the Indians.
“My manager brought me into the office, and told me there was a problem with my start [the
next day],” Diamond remembers. “He said, ‘Well, you’ve got to go up to Minnesota and make
the start up there.’ Right then and there I couldn’t believe it, and everything had come full circle.
All the work I put in and all of the support I had from everybody – it finally paid off.”
A BIG LEAGUE CAREER
On July 18, Diamond made his first career start in the nightcap of a doubleheader against
Cleveland. He held the then-division leading Indians to three earned runs, surrendering seven
hits while walking two. He would take the loss in what would inevitably be a 6-3 Indians win.
He would return to the minors after his start, but was called up again in late August to finish the
season with the team.
In his second start back, the third of his young career, Diamond pitched six innings against
Chicago, holding the White Sox to three runs on only three hits.
In the top of the first, before Diamond even took the mound, Minnesota tagged Jake Peavy
for six runs to give the rookie a healthy lead. Chicago battled back, but the Twins held on as
Diamond earned his first win as a Major League pitcher.
“That’s something that every kid dreams about,” Gardenhire says. “Every kid who has a uniform
or dreams about their first win, or their first hit, the whole package. He went out and earned it.
He pitched his tail off and it was a good moment. It’s always fun with these guys.”
Diamond would make seven total starts with the Twins, finishing the season with a 1-5 record
and 5.08 ERA.
“He’s got really good stuff,” Twins catcher Drew Butera says. “He’s got a good fastball, runs in
the low to mid-90s, and it cuts every once in a while, which is great for deception. His out pitch
is his curveball. He’s got some really good stuff.”
This past Saturday, Diamond had a chance to earn his second win of the season, but after taking
a three-hit shutout into the sixth inning, he allowed four runs and was pulled after recording only
one out. Minnesota went on to lose the game 7-6, but reliever José Mijares took the loss.
“HIS INTANGIBLES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OFF THE CHARTS”
Ron Gardenhire calls Scott Diamond a “class act.”
“I like the fact that he’s able to control himself out on the mound,” he says. “He’s handled
himself well; everything we’ve thrown at him he’s been very professional about … He’s kept his
emotions in check from his first start and through every outing he’s been out there. He’s remained
in control of himself and you can see him take deep breaths and step back off the mound — he’s
handled everything so far.”
Diamond hasn’t pitched for the Bearcats since 2007, but the way people talk about him, you’d
think he was still on the team.
“His intangibles have always been off the charts. When we recruit guys, abilities and tools
are part of the process, but we want guys in our program we feel like we can trust,” Sinicki
says. “We want guys who will represent us and the University the right way, and Scott fit that
mold from day one.”
Scott was a model student-athlete during his time at BU, and, as it stands, is only one course
away from receiving a degree in industrial engineering. Current athletic director Jim Norris
remembers him not only as an athlete, but as a member of Binghamton’s campus community.
With the Twins, not much has changed, and Diamond’s professional demeanor has earned the
respect of both his teammates and coaching staff.
“I like all of these guys,” Gardenhire says.
But there are some conditions to staying on his good side.
“As a manager I always make sure these guys do the right thing. One of the big things in this
clubhouse is you have to say hi to the manager when you walk in. [Scott]’s learned that, and now
he comes in and says, ‘Hi, Gardy,’ all the time. That’s a good start; he’s a class act.”
AN INSPRING STORY
College baseball isn’t all about where you play.
“I’ve always been told you can’t hide baseball talent,” Diamond says. “Even being from a smaller
northeastern school, no matter where you are there’s going to be exposure. As long as you work
hard and play hard, people are going to take notice.”
It’s tough to play college baseball in the northeast. Teams typically spend the first month and a
half of their season on the road, and, historically, the nation’s top players tend to attend schools
located in the South or on the West Coast.
Binghamton’s program is heralded as one of the best in the region, and 14 Bearcats, including
Diamond, have joined a professional organization since 2006. Prior to July 18, none had played
in the MLB.
“It’s very encouraging to see someone make it from our program here at Binghamton,” says
current Binghamton senior and first baseman Dave Ciocchi. “It’s tough to get serious recognition
out of the northeast, let alone make it to the Major Leagues. [Diamond] gives us current players a
sense of hope and confidence that if we work hard enough, anything can happen.”
There’s something cliché about working hard and reaching your goals, and it seems so Disney
to be the little guy and make it. But even so, Diamond’s story is one of determination, taking an
atypical path to reach the Majors.
“It’s been my mantra ever since I stepped on campus,” Diamond says. “I’ve done nothing but
always tried to work as hard as I could.”
Diamond has become a face for Binghamton University and its alumni. His story has inspired
current BU players, and all those who knew him during his time here have applauded his
“There’s a lot of programs with much more storied histories than we have and still don’t have a
guy in the big leagues,” Sinicki says. “It means a lot to this area and to this University.”
The Twins are out of the running for a postseason berth this year, after a season where many of
the team’s more notable players suffered injuries and setbacks. Diamond’s future role with the
club remains up in the air, but after Minnesota’s season ends on Wednesday it will definitely be a
topic of discussion.
“What we do with our roster will play out over the winter, but it’s easy to say that he’ll get a look
in spring training for sure,” Gardenhire says. “We know he can get big league hitters out, and
he’ll definitely get his opportunity in spring training to pitch and we’ll go from there. We like him