The sixth greatest general manager of all time once traded David Cone for Ed Hearn

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Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.

Maybe it’s unfair of me to list John Schuerholz’s worst trade in the headline of a post about him being one of the best general managers of all time. But it’s such a fun fact — and Schuerholz’s credentials are otherwise so unassailable — that I think he can take it. Heck, Schuerholz can take a lot. Even un-hinged fans who totally lack perspective and say outrageously dumb things.

Deftly dealing with setbacks is easy when you have his track record. He broke into baseball in what was then the best organization in baseball, the Orioles. He came to the GM chair by working his way up in another fantastic organization, the Royals. He won a World Series there and then, with the help of Bobby Cox, helped bring the Braves back from oblivion and turned them into perpetual division title winners.

Maybe he’d take a do-over on the Cone-Hearn deal. But John Schuerholz has made out just fine otherwise. Go read about him over at In Pursuit of Pennants.