It might sound odd, but 2020 and the start of 2021 was unforgettable, in a good way, for Brian Parker and his wife, Bree.
In a span of a little more than three months, the Parkers earned World Series and Super Bowl rings.
In late October, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in six games of the World Series. At the time, Brian, who grew up in Morristown, worked for the organization as an international crosschecker.
Three months later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, in Super Bowl LV. Bree Wagner-Parker works for the Bucs in the Human Resources department.
“It was a great feeling, it’s a great organization,” Brian said of the Dodgers winning the World Series. “Just to be part of that and experience that, I’ve been in baseball for over 20 years. This was my first World Series win. A lot went on with COVID, and everything else, and for my wife and I to experience that in the same year, two different teams, in two different sports, obviously it was a great year.”
With reduced capacity due to the pandemic, the Parkers were unable to attend the World Series. Brian worked for the Dodgers the past four years and they advanced to the Fall Classic in three of them. He was able to attend the first two years in 2017 and 2018.
Brian served in the Dodgers organization as an international crosschecker, meaning he scouted players from across the world. As part of that, he scouted in Latin America, Asia and Europe, something he continues to do in his new role as senior director of international scouting for the Los Angeles Angels.
The pandemic initially shut down baseball and all sports, but the game slowly returned internationally.
“There wasn’t a lot of baseball being played,” Brian said.
At first, Major League Baseball did not allow scouts to travel abroad because of traveling restrictions. That meant he spent more time at home with his family, unable to scout prospects. As the situation has slowly improved, he has been allowed to start traveling more.
“Thing are slowly getting going,” he said. “It’s slowly getting back to normal.”
While Brian didn’t play baseball at Morristown, he always had a passion for the game, a passion that drove him into scouting.
As a student at Morristown, he worked on the grounds crew for the Indianapolis Indians. When he went to Indiana State University, he interned with the Colorado Rockies.
After he graduated, Brian took a job with the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League, but found his way back to baseball when he took a job with Major League Baseball.
He entered the scouting side of the business when he took a job with the Montreal Expos in 2003 before the organization moved to the nation’s capital.
While working for the Washington Nationals, he met his wife, Bree, who was also working for them.
In 2012, Brian became director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays and worked there for seven years. He moved onto the Dodgers in 2017.
Brian said he is on the road scouting 15-20 days a month during the season.
“It’s harder with a family,” he said. “My wife has been awesome. Traveling’s hard. Being away is hard, but I get to do what I love to do.”
Bree works for the Buccaneers as a recruiting and training manager. She has worked for that organization the past 10 years.
“It was an awesome experience, something we were able to share together,” Brian said. “The fact that we won both in the same year, especially with everything going on, with not sure if we were going to have a baseball season, not sure if we were going to have a football season, and both end up winning in the same year.”