Fred Early McAlister (March 1, 1928 – November 23, 2008) was an American minor league baseball player and Major League Baseball scout and front-office executive who spent 63 years in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He served as the team's Director of Scouting from 1980 until 1993. Fred had 3 daughters with Charlotte; Kathy Stewart, Kelly Verret, and Kara Ragusa.
He was born on March 1, 1928 in Lynchburg, Virginia to parents, Grace and Fred E. McAlister. He is survived by wife, Patty Neal Hunter McAlister of the Katy, Texas home; three daughters, Kathy Stewart, Kelly Crawfort, Kara Wilson and his three step-children, Brenda Martin, Lori Moore and Bobby Hunter. McAlister was the grandfather of eleven and the great-grandfather of three. He is also survived by sisters, Betty Bomar and Lou Deacon of Lynchburg, Virginia. He is preceded in death by siter, Connie Manin, a brother, Mickey and both parents.
McAlister was signed by the Cardinals out of high school and played in the team's minor league system from 1945 until 1960, including as a player-coach or player-manager. He was the team's assistant farm director from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 until 1979, he was the scouting supervisor and special assignment scout for the Cardinals.
He was the scouting director for the Cardinals from 1980 to 1993. In this role, he achieved a string of successful draft picks, with 12 of 13 of the team's first round draft picks in the amateur draft making it to the Major Leagues. From 1981 through 1987, all seven of the team's picks made it to the majors, which were infielder Bobby Meacham (1981), pitcher Todd Worrell (1982), outfielder-first baseman Jim Lindeman (1983), pitcher Mike Dunne (1984), pitcher Joe Magrane (1985), infielder Luis Alicea (1986) and pitcher Cris Carpenter (1987). Whitey Herzog, who had managed the team from 1980 to 1990, noted McAlister's ability to find talent, stating that "Every year we'd be picking between 15th and 22nd, but he'd always have his first-rounder get to the big leagues." 70 of the players he selected in the amateur draft played for the Cardinals and another 17 played in the majors for other teams. After stepping down as director of scouting, he remained with the team as a special assignment scout until his death.
- "Fred E. McAlister - Obituary". Houston Chronicle. 25 November 2008.
- Kaegel, Dick. "Cardinals mourn McAlister: Longtime scout once called 'most valuable person' in organization", St. Louis Cardinals, November 24, 2008. Accessed November 25, 2008.
- Goold, Derrick. "St. Louis Cardinals mourn death of longtime Scouting Director", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 24, 2008. Accessed November 25, 2008.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)