John Schuerholz, who has spent over a half century in baseball, and over 25 years with the Atlanta Braves, will step down from his role as the club’s president, the team announced today. Long-serving executive vice presidents Mike Plant and Derek Schiller will fill the business and development roles Schuerholz has filled since being elevated from the GM slot back in 2007.
Schuerholz will continue to have a hand in things, as he is being given the new title of Vice Chairman. Based on his comments about doing this so he can ease back and spend more time with his family, however, it sounds like, for the first time in the 75-year-old’s career, he’s easing into something of an emeritus/semi-retirement mode.
Schuerholz is likely headed for the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest GMs of all time, having broken into baseball in what was then the best organization in baseball, the Orioles and then worked his way up to the GM chair in another fantastic organization, the 1970s and 80s Royals. After a World Series win there he moved on to Atlanta and, with the help of his predecessor GM and future manager, Bobby Cox, helped bring the Braves back from oblivion and turned them into perpetual division title winners.
No executive is perfect and both Royals and Braves fans have some nits to pick (David Cone for Ed Hearn? Kevin Millwood for Johnny Estrada?) but Schuerholz is basically the gold standard in baseball executives over the past 50 years and his place in Cooperstown will be well-deserved.