OXON HILL, MD – The 2016 MLB Hall of Fame class will include a Braves legend when inductions are made this summer in Cooperstown, NY. While it’s still a mystery as to which candidates will be elected from the BBWAA ballot, we do know that the 16-member Today’s Game Era committee has selected former Braves General Manager, President, and current Vice Chairman, John Schuerholz, as well as former MLB commissioner, Bud Selig, as Hall of Famers. Schuerholz is best known for being the architect of the Braves 1991-2005 era of dominance in the NL East and National League as well. Schuerholz, a unanimous selection, engineered two franchises to World Series championships, the 1985 Kansas City Royals and the 1995 Atlanta Braves.
When I asked John what this experience has been like over the last several hours, he answered “Awesome! That’s the only word I can think of to describe what the last 24 hours have been like. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in the hall of fame.” “Awesome” is a great way to describe the run of excellence his teams experienced for many years on the field. Over the course of his career, he worked for 3 different franchises: Baltimore, Kansas City and Atlanta. His career began in Baltimore in 1966 after writing a letter to the team with the hopes of persuading the Orioles to hire him. They did, and Schuerholz became an administrative assistant under then farm director, Lou Gorman. Schuerholz followed Gorman to Kansas City to join the expansion Royals in 1969. In 1981, at the age of 41, Schuerholz became the youngest GM in the big leagues at that point in time. The 1985 season was his crowning jewel with the Royals, as his bunch overcame 3-1 deficits in both the ALCS and World Series to claim a World Series Championship.
In 1990, Schuerholz left Kansas City for Atlanta. He would go on to forge a minor league system that was routinely one of the best in baseball. Over the course of time, prospects like John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Dave Justice, Steve Avery and Chipper Jones led the Braves from cellar-dwellars to baseball royalty. It wasn’t just the farm system that Schuerholz succeeded in rebuilding, he also hit big on free-agent acquisitions, as well as trades. The additions of Terry Pendleton, Greg Maddux, and Fred McGriff turned out to be enormous moves that help bring a championship to Atlanta. With future Hall of Fame manager, Bobby Cox, in the dugout, Schuerholz’s bunch went on to win 14 consecutive division titles, as well as the 1995 World Series.
Altogether, John Schuerholz has spent over 50 years in Major League Baseball. His teams have made the playoffs 24 times, won 16 divisions crowns, 6 pennants, and 2 World Series titles. His resume is one of excellence and consistency, and there is no doubt this honor is well deserved. Schuerholz becomes the 6th Hall of Fame inductee recognized primarily for his work as a general manager.
-Ben Ingram, Atlanta Braves Radio Network